Thursday, July 12, 2012

Magic Mike

In case you've been living under a rock for the last few months or just don't pay attention, this is a movie about male strippers. Therefore I do not want to hear any complaints about my opinions/preferences on the subject matter. 

Yes, I paid money to see a movie about male strippers. On the other hand, Channing Tatum is one of the sexiest actors around. I did not want to see this for the story. At the same time,  I never thought a movie about male strippers could be so underwhelming. The first 20-30 minutes are great. There's just hot half naked men dancing and doing things that I'm pretty sure only happen in Tampa. Then...everything falls apart.

We're subjected to about 6 different plot points. None of them are really resolved. They pop up, screw up someone's life, and all is forgotten. And we quickly discover that most of the stuff going on has nothing to do with Mike. It's all about his new protege Adam, who is the biggest ass monkey I've seen on screen all year. His sister doesn't want him stripping, but then quickly forgets about it and doesn't bring it up anymore. Conflict resolution in this film is basically not bringing it up ever again.

And then there's the acting. Dear god, the acting. I've come to terms with the fact that Tatum is nothing more than a great face and amazing body. Everyone else? I think they all reached enlightenment for terrible acting. The "love interest" first comes off as cold, then uptight and finally a judgmental bitch. Matthew McConaughey must've smoked copious amounts of weed in between takes because he just sounds high all the damn time. I was also forced to watch his wrinkly butt flop around on a stage half naked. And Olivia Munn quit what was probably the best video game gig in the world just to play the two-timing slut.

So the story is pretty much non-existent, and the acting is abysmal. There has to be long scenes of the guys being stupid hot for no reason, right? No, because then I wouldn't be complaining that much. All of the raw sexual energy is quickly expelled during the first half hour. That was probably the best half hour of my life. However, if the entire premise is based on male strippers in Florida, every other scene better be Tatum dry humping, booty popping or pelvic thrusting. I don't care if that sounds disgusting. I hate false advertising, especially when it comes to anything sexual.

To recap we have bad acting, no concrete plot, a two hour running time with only 30 minutes of stripping. I give it 2/5. Why does it get 2/5? I saw Channing Tatum naked. I consider that to be the only redeeming factor out of this whole thing. I would recommend something else, but is there a movie about stripping that isn't porn? Yeah, I didn't think so either.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Memory Lane Special: Antichrist

I'm sure you all know by now that I'm a huge gore and horror fan. Nothing shocks me. I've seen people dismembered by every instrument you can imagine. I've seen men get raped by brooms, knives and guns. I've come to terms with the fact that I'm quite desensitized. But...there is only one movie in all my years of film watching that I shut off because of just one scene. Keep in mind that the movie was around 95% done by the time that this scene happened. I didn't care. I was absolutely horrified by what I had seen that I refused to tough it out for the last 15 minutes. So what was the scene? A woman loses her mind and cuts off her own clitoris with a pair of rusty scissors.'s a close up shot.

Don't ask me why that's the one thing that got to me. I've sat through a lot of crap, but I just could not get past that. I saw Antichrist 2 years ago. I wanted to do something special for my birthday, so I gave myself the very masochistic challenge of completing the movie. I accomplished two things. I finished the movie, and I also realized how butt awful it is. I think this beats The Human Centipede as the worst movie I've ever seen. Without further ado, let's abandon all hope for Antichrist.

The story is about a couple that loses their son, and they try to repair their hearts and minds. If only it were that wholesome. In actuality, we see them screwing on every surface of the apartment. We're also treated to an extreme close up of Willem Dafoe's comically large penis entering Charlotte Gainsbourg's vagina. I know they're stunt naughty bits, but I still hate this movie for implanting the idea of Willem Dafoe naked and having sex. One's psyche does not bounce back from that. Anyway, while they're going at it like jack rabbits, their son gets out of his crib. He manages to climb onto the ledge of a window, slips and falls to his death.

Objection #1: Kids are loud as crap. The movie clearly shows the boy pushing a chair to reach the window. Have you heard a metal chair sliding across a wood floor? I don't care how loud you are during sex, you'd hear something like that. I'm also going to assume that the boy cried out as he was falling. Once again, the parents of the year should have heard that. The point I'm trying to get at is there were several moments were the boy could've been saved. Which leads us as the audience to think that they really didn't want to have a child. We find out at the end of the movie, that that's actually the truth.

I'm not even going to give this movie anymore thought. It's incredibly screwed up, and I prefer not to think about it. The writer/director was going through a deep depression at the time of writing the script, and it completely shows. It goes from super artsy to hardcore porn to supernatural. There's no point, and no continuity. Unfortunately, all this is is the visual representation of a man's depression. And it gets dark and dirty fast. I feel bad for Lars von Trier, but I have to wonder what happened for him to want to showcase such horrible imagery. What symbolism could possibly be taken from seeing a man's testicles brutally beaten, and then his wife gives him a hand job that results in bloody ejaculate? And the same question but for the scene that caused me to shut the movie off the first time I saw it. Why the hell would you show people this?!

Horrible characters, incredibly disturbing imagery, a non existent plot and a twist that makes no sense earn this a goose egg. I understand that using art to get through depression is very therapeutic. But scenes of violent sexual assaults and genital amputation/mutilation? I think a priest is the only one that can get rid of whatever mental issues Lars has.


It's a freaking teddy bear that smokes pot, has sex and cusses like a sailor. What more do I need to say? Think of this as an unrated Family Guy minus the Meg abuse. But it actually works. Seth MacFarlane just has a knack for being the most outrageous and vulgar characters, but this one actually sticks out. It's just a movie about a guy growing up with a talking teddy bear, and finally learning to be on his own. Thankfully it's not as mushy as it sounds.

This is not a film for people that don't like crude humor. It can be borderline offensive, but that's what makes it hilarious. Mark Wahlberg is great as John. You can tell he knew the premise was pretty ridiculous and he just ran with it. Mila Kunis was a bit weaker as Lori. She's kind of the Kristen Stewart of the whole movie. She just doesn't really emote, and her delivery falls flat. All of the supporting cast is great though, and there are quite a few cameos from Family Guy cast members. Also, there's this super creeper played by Giovanni Ribisi. He's obsessed with Ted, and wants to steal him to give him to his very pudgy son, Robert. The only thing I wished for was more of his back story. A character that creepy is bound to have numerous issues.

All in all, I thought this was one of the funniest movies I've seen in my life. Given the plot, I wasn't expecting much except for a few cheap laughs. I was surprised at just how funny it is. The only downside is the editing. It's very choppy, and there are no seamless transitions between scenes. Other than having one of the worst editors in the world, it's perfect if you just want a good laugh. I give it a 4/5. It's a great comedy, but stay away if you're easily offended.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

Let's get one important fact out of the way: this was never meant to be a comedy. I normally don't factor other reviews into my own, but it's becoming so annoying that I have to bring it up. It's not based on humor. Lincoln's mother is killed by a vampire, and he devotes most of his adult life becoming stronger to avenge her death. What part of that could possibly be considered funny? Now that my first rant in almost 3 weeks is over, let's get into the actual movie.

I'll admit that I thought this was going to be bad. I figured it'd be great for gore and action. Once again, I was wrong. Seth Grahame-Smith is a very strong screenwriter, and Timur Bekmambetov proves that he deserves to be known for something other than Wanted. Benjamin Walker did a solid job of portraying Lincoln. Then again, I wasn't exactly looking for complete historical accuracy, and I also don't really care. The rest of the cast were  very good. The main complaint I have are the villains: first vampire Adam and his enforcer/sister Vadoma. The one thing about this film is that when the action gets started, it comes at you hard and fast. It's very intense. Rufus Sewell and Erin Wasson just don't have the same intensity as the film for the first half, and they drag it down.

I will say Sewell definitely redeems himself in the second act. He plays Adam like this silent and downright malicious evil genius. It's completely brilliant, and quite terrifying. Wasson never does anything except look pretty in dresses and runs into battle only to be shot in the head with iron, and quickly dies. One out of two isn't horrible, I guess. I will also mention that one of the plot points was a very smart choice given the time period. I won't give it away because you should go see the movie.

I was surprised to see that one of my favorite actresses was the leading lady. I love Mary Elizabeth Winstead. She can do no wrong. Yes, I even loved her in the craptastic voyage that is Final Destination 3. I thought she was great as Mary Todd. She's an important part of Lincoln's development as a man, and she is definitely a strong supporting character.

I'm almost positive there are "glaring" historical inaccuracies, but I would also like to remind you that the film is called Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. And do I really seem like the type to give a rat's ass about history? I didn't think so. So, for action, gore, an interesting plot and solid acting, I give it a 5/5. I was very entertained, and it was quite memorable. The only real flaw is villains that are a tiny bit weak to start, but come back with a bite (no pun intended).