For the second time, I’m going to put my fancy liberal arts degree to good use, and do another freeform movie review, where I just let the thoughts and critiques randomly come out in whatever form they please. This works best for middle-of-the-road kind of average movies where I struggle to even come up with anything to talk about in traditional review formats, and Natalie Portman’s new western movie Jane Got A Gun is just that. So let’s get started.
This was a good week for unlikable protagonists bossing people around in movies, as evident in the new films Steve Jobs and Burnt. I was also going to include Our Brand Is Crisis into this review, but then I watched the trailer for it again and realized that I really, really don’t want to pay to see that movie because it looks painfully bland. So I didn’t.
I’ve been watching a bunch of crap at home lately, so here are my hot takes on a bunch of the neat things anybody can rent right now. Yeah, even you… …Winston! Sitting there in your green t-shirt, and basketball shorts. Drinking that Dr. Pepper. Slowly wondering how I’m staring at you through your window, even though your shades are down…
(I’m banking on a lot of specific things to fall in place there, so I can blow that guy’s mind)
American Sniper has been a bit of a polarizing experience, if you happen to read any articles about it. I guess the central figure, Chris Kyle, has gone under some scrutiny for actions not really shown in the film, while at the same time the movie has been glorified and praised for its flag waving American pride type themes. There’s a lot to be discussed, and it’s all a very serious matter, so I’m going to do everyone a favor and let the two sides of the story speak for themselves… On one side, there’s the heavily Oscar nominated Clint Eastwood film American Sniper, and on the other side is the lunch I had at Naf Naf Grill yesterday.
Quick theater story before I get into the review… I went to a 10 pm screening last night (the new midnight show I guess), and it was pretty full, and this group of five 20-something dorks were sitting in the same row as us on the other side. The worst of them was irritatingly loud. The kind of loud that before the trailers started everyone in the theater was just listening to him talk. One of those annoying people whose range of volume varies from yelling to shouting. Nothing but cynical dribble about what’s wrong with this comic book movie, or what he noticed about that TV show. He had to make sure everyone heard him because his obnoxious opinions and dumb jokes were so important. Once the trailers started, he began shouting over them because he had to compete with the volume of the screen now, you see. When the first trailer ended, and he was still yammering on about something, his friend started joking “You’re so loud, man. So loud!” And some irritated bro about four rows behind us goes, “Yeah, he really is.”
Then for two more trailers he kept dork-shouting things, with every bit of silence filled with brief blips of annoyance, “WELL TWO CHARACTERS WERE” or “IN THE CARTOON HE WAS MORE OF” or “I’M PLANNING ON GOING TO”. I consider myself to be a nerd (at least of the pop-culture variety), but this guy had me wanting to book him in the hallway and give him an atomic wedgie. Finally, after the “put on your 3D glasses” message came up and the next trailer started, and he shouted *the* lamest joke possible: “THE LETTERS ARE COMING RIGHT AT ME!” That same irritated bro four rows back then shouted “If your friend doesn’t shut the f*** up, we’re gonna beat all of your asses in the parking lot!” It was a gloriously deserved moment. I, and many other people in the theater laughed out loud. And the dork never said another word until the movie was over. I don’t think I would have condoned them actually getting beat up over their friend being loud during the pre-movie and trailers, but if it *did* happen, I probably would have just shrugged and nodded approvingly.
I caught a glimpse of the magnificent beast as we were exiting the theater, when he went back to shouting references at his friends who were two feet away from him, “APOCALYPSE APPEARED AT THE END OF X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST, THIS ENDING SCENE WAS”, and oh he was a sight to behold. He must have been at least 6’7″, a curly, unkempt brown collection of near-afro-ish nerd curls, blank-yet-dopey face, and the creme de la creme; a My Little Pony t-shirt, which he chose to wear in public, unironically. It was like a near perfect visualization of how I wanted him to look. The only thing missing was the Cheeto fingers.
Well, now that I’ve wasted 500 words talking about some sad lummox, maybe I should move on to Guardians of the Galaxy, which actually made me feel incredibly happy?
This movie opens with a three-minute scene of Christian Bale gluing a comb-over onto his head. Why haven’t you stopped reading this review and purchased a ticket to this movie yet? Well? Oh, you need to hear more about it…? FINE.
I know it seems a tad hypocritical for me to blast the sixth edition of Fast & Furious, a franchise that falls into very familiar territory with each new entry, only to now boast a defense for the third installment of The Hangover series. And I might very well be a mega hypocrite. But where Fast & Furious constantly proves that cars and explosions will make them easy money no matter how crappy and formulaic it may be, the Hangover Part III proves that it deserves more respect than it’s getting, simply based on the fact that it has completely abandoned its formula and left the comfort zone for this last entry.
Premise: If it’s not obvious by his awful tattoo selection, stunt motorcyclist Luke (Ryan Gosling) makes terrible life choices. Most recently, he has knocked up a young woman (Eva Mendes) he met the previous time he was in Schenectady, NY, and now feels obligated to take care of his one-year-old son. His best means of providing for his son in the quickest way possible? Robbing banks. Meanwhile, rookie cop Avery (Brad Cooper) is also raising a one year old son, while struggling to deal with the internal corruption of the Schenectady police department. Perhaps in the future, these two gentlemen’s sons will meet in high school? PREDICTABLE SPOILER ALERT: THEY DO.
Premise: Bradley Cooper plays Pat, a recently released patient from a mental institution, who is put into the custody of his elderly parents. Now he lives his life chasing people from the past and meeting new ones who might help him more than he thinks. Or if you’d like a completely out-of-context summary of the film based on the marketing: BRADLEY COOPER PLAYS A QUIRKY NUTJOB WHO RUNS AROUND WITH A GARBAGE BAG FOR A SHIRT!