Category: "Movie Reviews"

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That Was a Dumb Movie: Jurassic World - September 12, 2015

Spoiler Alert! If you haven’t seen the movie, and want to see it, then by all means see it before reading this post.

Okay, I lied in the title of this post. Jurassic World wasn’t actually a dumb movie. It was pretty good. In fact it was probably great for what it was, a movie about dinosaurs eating people. The reason I thought it was dumb was because of the death of Vincent D’Onofrio’s character Hoskins.

Hoskins. One look at this guy and you know he’s going to get eaten.
From the moment you see Hoskins you know that this guy is the equivalent of Wayne Knight’s character Nedry from Jurassic Park. He’s the antagonist, he’s a jerk, the handsome main character doesn’t like him, he’s going to get eaten. He actually has a tattoo on his arm that says Bite Me. I suppose there’s some backstory to that tattoo, he probably grew up in the 80’s when bite me was still a phrase, or maybe he was a fan of Twilight. Ironically it is his arm that is eaten first. Knowing that he would get eaten is what was so annoying. Here is this movie telling me, This guy is going to get eaten by a dinosaur, so let it be known that you want this guy to be eaten by a dinosaur.

Well I’m sorry to tell you, movie, I didn’t want that guy to be eaten by a dinosaur. I wanted him to live. I don’t know who you are, movie, that you think you can tell me what I want! You make me angry movie.

Well he gets eaten and the movie says to me, Hey! He got his comeuppance. Well... It was a lame comeuppance that made me even more angry.
Owen says, The raptors are my friends, but I’ll let them eat people I sort of don’t like.
To put things in perspective let me go a little earlier into the movie when a man falls into the raptor cage, at which point the protagonist, Owen, walks into the raptor cage, among four raptors, and saves the man. The same situation happens to Hoskins, he’s about to get eaten by a single raptor, and Owen watches it happen. Great hero there. He conveniently is too afraid to coax the raptor away. The movie told me to hate Hoskins, but honestly, I just hated Owen.

Basically what I’m saying is that I refuse to listen to a movie when it tells me who I’m supposed to hate. It’s got to do something more than just tell me. If it had actually demonstrated in some way that I should hate this guy, maybe I wouldn’t be so critical of it, but even then killing off villains with dinosaurs is a little too deus ex machina for me. Owen was probably the character I wanted to see get eaten the most, but he also had a tattoo, and it said, Too Cool to Die. So yeah, I think it would have been a much more interesting film had Hoskins started out as a jerk, then learned something about himself, then lived. And it might have even been an excellent film if Owen had been eaten, and even better if Owen’s death was meaningless. I guess it’s just not a very deep film. I guess it’s not supposed to be. It’s supposed to be about people getting eaten by dinosaurs, and it is. Yeah, I guess it’s an okay movie. Oh, and yeah, I made up the tattoo thing.

Categories: Movie Reviews

That Was a Dumb Movie: Terminator Genisys - August 2, 2015

The crane crashing through L.A. in Terminator 3 is some of the best action I’ve seen.
I want to start off by qualifying this review by making it clear that I am a huge Terminator fan. The Terminator (the first one from 1984) is my third favorite movie of all time. Terminator 2: Judgement Day, while not one of my top movies, is still quite good. And in terms of pure action Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines is one of the best of the genre. I also very much enjoyed the TV series Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. As for Terminator Salvation is was meh, not really bad, but not that great. I’m a fan, though.

To prove how much of a fan I am, and real fans will also recognize this: It really bothered me that in Terminator 3 the script repeatedly referred to Schwarzenegger’s cyborg from the first and second movies as a T-101. He was not a T-101 he was a T-800, model 101. To make things worse Schwarzenegger’s cyborg from Terminator 3 claims to be a T-850, which makes sense if the cyborgs from the first two movies were T-800s, because the new one was slightly upgraded. Why would the writers even acknowledge that series 800 was a thing, but then mistakenly refer to the first two terminators as T-101s? It makes no sense.

Anyway, the point I’m trying to establish in the last three paragraphs, is that I don’t just like The Terminator: I’m a fan, and coming from fandom Terminator Genisys was a dumb movie. That’s really all I have to say about it. It was dumb. I don’t really know why it was dumb, because I’m not really a movie reviewer, so I didn’t put that much thought into it. I just didn’t like it very much. Well, I did like the whole theme about how the machines took over the world through cell phones, and I’ve been a high tech heretic for years, with most of my heresy targeted at cell phones, so that was at least lip service to me and my kind.

Really, though, the reason I wrote this post was because I wanted to rant about the whole T-101 thing from Terminator 3. It’s bothered me for years, and it would be a little too late to rant about that, except for the fact that there is a new Terminator movie out. So now’s my chance! Seriously though? Did the guys that wrote Terminator 3 not even watch the first two movies? Was there not one person on the set that knew to correct them? Clearly Schwarzenegger was unfamiliar with the lore because he’s the one that delivered the T-101 lines. I can almost quote Kyle Reese verbatim from The Terminator when he says, The 600 series had rubber skin. We spotted them easy, but these are new. They look human.... There is clearly a whole lore behind these terminators, and the T-series is numbered sequentially. T-600s we never see, but apparently they had rubber skin. T-800s looked human. Arnold Schwarzenegger was model 101 of the 800 series. T-1000s were made out of some kind of liquid metal so they probably didn’t even have model numbers because they could look like anything. Next thing we know we’re going to see a Terminator movie that features Phased Plasma Rifles in the 40 Ampere Range.

Categories: Movie Reviews

That Was a Dumb Movie: Murder by Numbers - April 25, 2014

I probably saw more films in theaters in 2002 than any other year of my life, basically I was going every other week. I saw a lot of dumb movies. Most of them I don’t even remember, but a few included Dark Blue and Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones. I’m sure I saw a few good ones too, but the one that has been bugging me for the past 12 years is Murder by Numbers.

The film stars Sandra Bullock and Ben Chaplin as two detectives investigating a murder committed by two high school students played by Ryan Gosling and Michael Pitt. Part of the reason I wanted to see the film was because of Ms. Bullock and Mr. Chaplin. I thought Bullock was hot, she looked like this girl, Charlene, from my school days, and Chaplin had been in The Thin Red Line so I kind of liked him for that. Apparently Ryan Gosling is now famous. I’ve heard his name around, so I assume women find him attractive, but no one had heard of him in 2002.

The murderers wore plastic suits!
Okay, so it’s been 12 years since I’ve seen it, so most of what I remember about the plot was that it was a generic police procedural. There was just one thing that made the movie dumb, though. The thing that has been bothering me for years. The two high school students came up with this elaborate plot to commit murder and not get caught. They went through all sorts of efforts to plant fake evidence, and not leave behind any real evidence. I believe they even wore hazmat suits during the murder in order to do so. I mean in American Psycho Christian Bale also wore a raincoat while committing murder, but that wasn’t to get away with it, it was so his suit didn’t get covered in blood.

Basically that was the downfall of this movie, because honestly, it’s not really that hard to get away with murder. Just drive to some random town you’ve never been to before, kill some random person, it probably doesn’t even matter how. Leave behind as much evidence as you like, and my guess is you’ll never get caught. I mean as long as no one saw you. If you don’t know the victim, who’s going to even think to look for you. There certainly doesn’t need to be all this scheming involved. That’s what’s bugged me about this movies for all these years. These kids could have gotten away with murder so easily. They just thought about it too hard. They were basically idiots. They were twofold idiots. First, for wanting to kill someone at all. And second, for committing murder in such a stupid manner. My real gripe is with whoever wrote this story. It sounds like a high school student wrote this story, because no rational adult would. That’s why Murder by Numbers is a dumb movie.

Categories: Movie Reviews

That Was a Dumb Movie: Red Lights - February 28, 2014

Red Lights.
From Wikipedia, Red Lights is a 2012 Spanish-American thriller film written and directed by Rodrigo Cort├ęs and starring Cillian Murphy, Sigourney Weaver, and Robert De Niro. The plot focuses on a physicist, Tom Buckley (Murphy), and a university psychology professor, Margaret Matheson (Weaver), both of whom specialize in debunking supernatural phenomena, and their attempt at discrediting a renowned psychic, Simon Silver (De Niro), whose greatest critic mysteriously died thirty years prior.

Stories like this appeal to me. I like low key supernatural stuff. Stories where there is some kind of supernatural element, but nothing outrageous like most vampire stories have. Traditional ghost stories or hauntings aren’t bad either. I also like investigative stories, so tales of people investigating the supernatural is all the more appealing to me. I rather enjoyed the 2003 television series Miracles. Miracles was about a guy that investigated supposed miracles in an attempt to prove whether or not deceased persons were worthy of being sainted in the Catholic church. Ultimately he disassociated with the church and joined a private organization that also investigated miracles, although they mostly investigated the evil side of the supernatural, so calling what he investigated miracles is kind of a misnomer. In any case it was a pretty cool show. Red Lights had a similar setup, so I figured I’d like it. The main difference being that the characters in Red Lights are coming from from a skeptical background, trying to disprove everything, whereas the characters in Miracles were just assuming that there were in fact real cosmic powers of good an evil.

The characters in Red Lights were mostly concerned with debunking supposed psychics. The first scene involved a psychic conducting a seance for a family, with Buckley and Matheson observing. Crazy stuff happens such as ghosts making noises and the table they are sitting at mysteriously rising from the floor. Following that scene, Buckley and Matheson are teaching a university class where they explain how all this phenomena was possible.

I liked where the film was going. I’ve seen supposed psychics in real life, and based on my experience I believe they are frauds. From my observations, those that subscribe to the reality of psychics are so willing to believe whatever they say that it’s almost pathetic how quickly they accept a psychic’s word as truth. The movie touched on this subject with Buckley claiming that his own mother had died because she accepted the healing touch of a psychic rather than going to a doctor. Mr. Silver, being a psychic healer, quickly became the nemesis of Buckley.

It was your standard direct to video storyline. The story was okay. The cinematography wasn’t particular artistic. The script didn’t really have anything original or provocative. It was what you’d expect for a late night cable channel movie. I’m actually hard pressed to say that it was a dumb movie, it was pretty much what it was supposed to be. The only really dumb parts were that Matheson randomly died near the end of the movie, with an explanation so weak that I honestly can’t say what it was, and also that it turned out that Buckley, the debunker himself, had supernatural powers. Which weakened the plot a little. I mean it was a direct to video plot, what do you expect? I didn’t expect much.

Except one thing... There is, in fact, something that truly made this movie dumb. Robert De Niro was in this movie. ROBERT-FREAKING-De-NIRO was in this movie! Robert De Niro of The Godfather, Part II, Taxi Driver, and Raging Bull. Robert De Niro who was in one of my personal favorite movies, Heat. Robert De Niro who, in the same year as Red Lights, was also nominated for best supporting actor for his role in Silver Linings Playbook. Yes, Robert De Niro and his famous mole were in this movie. It blew my mind. I couldn’t understand why Robert De Niro was in this movie. I mean I’ve seen tons of direct to video movies. Sigourney Weaver is somewhat of a big name, but not really that big if you’ve never seen Alien, and so it isn’t uncommon for her to be in lesser known films. Cillian Murphy is even less famous, though he did get a little bit of spotlight in the Dark Knight trilogy. But Robert De Niro! You don’t even have to have seen his films to know who he is. I haven’t seen half the films I listed above, but I’ve heard of Robert De Niro and I’ve heard of all these films.

I honestly can’t say that Red Lights was intentionally a direct to video movie. It was probably in theaters, but I never heard of it. This type of film doesn’t do well in theaters. It’s the type of film you watch late at night. For me it randomly showed up on Netflix because it’s the type of stuff I like to watch late at night. I might have watched it even if it didn’t star Robert De Niro. I mean I would have watched it and forgot about it, had that been the case. I wouldn’t be writing this post, that’s for sure. It’s a sad day when a man of greatness like Robert De Niro is a supporting character in a direct to video movie. Maybe Robert De Niro has been in a lot of unknown films like this and I just didn’t know about it. It breaks my heart to know it, though, and that’s why Red Lights is a dumb movie.

Categories: Movie Reviews

That Was a Dumb Movie: The Tall Man - February 11, 2013

Well, I’m back at it again. Watching movies on Netflix, and my most recent endeavor was The Tall Man, a 2012 film starring Jessica Biel. Now, why I decided to watch this movie, I don’t know. Really, I thought it was a horror film, and I kind of wanted to see a scary movie, but it turned out that it was not, in fact, a horror film, it was a dumb movie.

Basically the plot of the film was that dumb stuff happened. That’s it. Just a bunch of dumb stuff happened. I can’t believe how dumb the stuff was that happened. I know I’m being pretty vague, and repeating myself about how dumb this film was, so I will go ahead an clarify why, exactly, I thought it was dumb.

Basically the plot goes like this: It was dumb. Okay, seriously... So there’s this town, Cold Rock, and some kids have been disappearing out of there. And when I say some kids, I mean like 20 or 30 kids. Now this is some town full of white kids in America. Think about it, if one kid disappeared the public news media and FBI would be all over it. Not to mention if two kids disappeared in the same town. But, as it were, in this town 30 kids have disappeared and everyone just sort of thinks that it’s normal. That’s just the way it is... Kids disappear. I mean seriously, if two kids disappeared in my neighborhood, I don’t think any parent would ever let their kids out of their sight. It is just plain dumb that 30 or so kids have disappeared in one small town, where there probably are only around 60 kids total. They just blame it on The Tall Man and forget about it. I mean it’s almost like the dark ages, when it was just normal for people to die.

The movie is so dumb in regards to small towns too. So there was no school in town. This is actually pretty normal for small towns, but you know what? In such towns there is a freaking bus that takes the kids to the nearest town that does have a school. No such luck in this town. They were just like, No school in town... I guess are kids are just going to be dumb. Yeah, that’s what they were like. What about the freaking president’s initiative, No Child Left Behind? This town was like, We want our children left behind. The town is supposed to be in Washington State, maybe a few hours from Seattle.

If you’ve ever read HP Lovecraft, you may be aware of the Cthulhu mythos. Lovecraft’s stories often feature towns in the middle of the good old US of A where weird stuff is going down, and no one outside of town is the wiser. I kind of consider that silly, because I really think that outside of third world civilizations everybody is pretty connected. Lovecraft’s stories take place in the early 20th century. So I kind of give his stories a pass on the whole idea of a disconnected society, even though there was newspapers and mail service back then. But The Tall Man takes place in the present day. A day of the internet, a day of satellite TV, and yet for some reason this town is just completely disconnected from the rest of society. I mean, the film-makers actually tried to make it seem to be connected by playing some news footage about the disappearances, but seriously, there is no way they were as connected as all that if the whole of the FBI wasn’t scouring that town.

So, a bunch of kids disappeared. We actually find out what happened to them at the end of the movie, and it isn’t even anything too bad, but the people of Cold Rock don’t find out what happened to them. They presume that they are all dead. Of course, more dumbness comes from that presumption... Cold Rock used to be a mining town, so there are mine caverns running underground all over the area. The townsfolk... Wait, let me clarify, the dumb townsfolk, presume that the bodies of the children are in the mines, but you know what they do about it? They say, Well there are too many caves, and we’ll probably never find them. That was their conclusion. Think about this: The caves were man-made mines. Thirty or so kids have disappeared. You get a search party of fifty people, and believe me it wouldn’t be hard to get a search party of that many people to find some missing kids, you could cover all of the mines in a matter of hours. It’s just plain dumb that they didn’t search them. They didn’t even try. They were dumb.

Of course the dumbest part was the reveal at the end. (And I’m just going to give away the film, to spare you the need to watch it.) It turns out that The Tall Man is abducting kids from poverty stricken homes and delivering them to well-off homes in the city. Yeah, that was the reveal. They were kidnapping children from their parents and giving them to different parents. Of course they brainwashed them first so that they would never tell anyone how they got abducted. One girl in the movie actually wanted to get abducted. And asked for it, then she got placed in her new home, and you know what? She isn’t happy. She’s like, I think my life is better. It is better... Isn’t it? Isn’t it? It was so dumb. I’m angry at how dumb this movie was.

It was totally different from what I thought it was going in. It was dumb. What’s worse, is that I knew in the first five minutes it was going to be dumb. I could just sort of tell. Little did I know just how dumb it would be. Normally, I would try to figure out just why anyone would think this film was any good, or why it got green-lit, but I can’t. I mean maybe the film-makers were trying to make a point about how everyone has the right to be a parent, even if they are poor, but really no point is made, it was too dumb to make a point. And why anyone would like it... There isn’t any reason. Unless you are a huge Jessica Biel fan, and I really don’t know of anyone that is, but there must be some since she’s been in stuff after 7th Heaven was cancelled. So anyway, I’ve given away the whole film, so I’ve ruined it for you, but you’re better off, since it was dumb.

Categories: Movie Reviews

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