Monthly Archives: May 2012

Movies I want to Punch in the Face

Ya know, I have a lot of fun here at DVD Critics Corner; watching rented DVDs, absorbing the stories that unfold on screen, and then gently ribbing them in these smartly typed essays. It gives me something to do and keeps me off the streets and for that I thank you, movies.

Sadly, as much as I like to think there is something good  in every movie I watch (even the straight to DVD crappy ones starring former 80’s pop stars), every once in a while one comes along that has no redeeming quality whatsoever. Movies so bad that even I can’t defend them. Movies I want to punch in the face if they had human form, and therefore had a face. Let’s take a look at some of these punch worthy movies:

Delgo (2008)

Hey kids, do you like those Pixar films with the fantastic animation, heartwarming stories, and memorable characters? Well the folks who made Delgo decided to put none of those things in their craptacular movie. Instead, they thought hideous lizard people voiced by Freddie Prinze Jr and Burt Reynolds living in some confusing fantasy world with a story swiped from the Stars Wars and Lord of the Rings films was what movie goers wanted.  They were more wrong then the guy who invented parachute pants. Which I never owned. I tried on a pair at Chess King once. They were not for me.

And speaking of very wrong things:

Arthur (2011)

The 1981 comedy Arthur starring Dudley Moore, Liza Minelli, and John Guilgud is in my humble opinion one of the funniest movies ever made. The 2011 Arthur starring English man-child Russell Brand is a cinematic abomination that made my head hurt. You never mess with, much less remake a classic! Every DVD copy of this movie should be sent to the recycling plant and ground up into tiny pieces, then the pieces should be melted down and made into something useful, like Solo cups or those shopping bags the damn hippies want me to carry my groceries in.

Wagons East (1994)

If Wagons East was human being, an average Joe, a regular guy, I would walk up to him and ask him for the time. Then when he looks at his smart phone, I scream “You killed John Candy,” and coldcock him with a devastating uppercut , sending him ass-first to the sidewalk. Then with Wagons East bleeding at my feet, I head for home and cross another thing off my bucket list.

Rhinestone (1984)

 The early eighties was a glorious time for Sylvester Stallone. The Rocky franchise was three movies deep, and a little character named John Rambo had just taken his first steps toward immortality in First Blood. Stallone was the man. So what was the harm he thought, in having little fun with his next acting gig? Hey, how about a comedy! A comedy where he teams up with buxom country singer/actress/muppet Dolly Parton! A comedy where he sings! A comedy that made people wish movies were never invented! Thankfully, Stallone went right back to action movies the following year, and we fell in love with him all over again. Oh who am I kidding, we never stopped loving you Sly.

And finally..

Every movie Kate Hudson has done since Almost Famous (2000)

Dear Showbiz,

For the love of God, stop encouraging this woman!

Warmest regards,

Tom Levier, DVD Critics Corner

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Help Me, Tom Cruise!

Mission:Impossible – Ghost Protocol (2011) 

Director: Brad Bird Starring: Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg, Paula Patton Rating: PG-13 for things blowing up and the fighting with the punching and the kicking…

Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol is the fourth installment in the M.I. series starring Tom Cruise as superspy Ethan Hunt.  A lot has happened in this movie franchise since the first film, so let’s bring everyone up to speed:

In Mission: Impossible Ethan Hunt runs, wears masks, hangs from some wires, kills Jon Voight.

In Mission: Impossible II, Hunt runs, rides motorcycles, wears masks, boinks Thandie Newton. Note: M.I. 2 was directed by John Woo, so there are endless gunfights and doves flying around for no flipping reason.

In Mission: Impossible III, Hunt runs, rescues his wife, wears masks, and finally returns the ring to Mt. Doom.

Wait, isn’t that Lord of the Rings? Or is it Harry Potter… Is there a ring in Harry Potter? I’ll get back to you on that.

In MI-GP,  Hunt is asked to save the world once again when Russian nuclear launch codes are stolen by Cobalt, a mystery man who wants to detonate a few nuclear bombs and start World War III because he’s read the Bond villain playbook.

Hunt and his support team; Jane the hot female agent (Paula Patton) and Benji the comic relief tech guy (Simon Pegg) sneak into the Kremlin to dig up a file on Cobalt, but since Cobalt is a villain, he turns the Kremlin into a big ass crater, making sure the IMF guys are blamed for the destruction.

So like in the previous movies, Hunt is placed on the “disavowed” list, which I assume cuts off his daily meal per diem and cancels his membership to the Impossible Mission Force Spa and Fitness Club.

Determined to stop a nuclear war and clear their names, the team along with an IMF analyst (Jeremy Renner) they picked up in Moscow head to Dubai where Hunt climbs up the side of the tallest building in the world for some reason, then they jet to Mumbai where they infiltrate a fancy cocktail party so Jane can wear a slinky dress because she’s the hot female agent.

A brief sidebar here – how is it a group of fugitives wanted for bombing the Kremlin are able to fly from country to country unnoticed while I have to endure two pat downs and a strip search just to fly to Orlando? And why can’t I take my bottle hand sanitizer on board?

Anyway, there’s plenty of chases, car crashes, and death defying stunts throughout MI-GP as Hunt and his team thwart the bad guys, stop nuclear Armageddon, and get their names put  back on the IMF “everything is dandy” list.

Fantastic. I bet they won’t have to check their carry-on bag when they fly back to America either.

You suck, Jet Blue!

MI-GP is ably directed by Brad Bird, whose previous credits include the Pixar films The Incredibles and Ratatouille. It’s kind of appropriate that Bird has experience in computer animation because Tom Cruise is so digitally airbrushed in this movie he’s starting to look like a CG character.

A couple more more Mission: Impossible films, and the Tom Cruise 2.0 program should be complete!

The Gods Must Be Crazy!

Immortals (2011) Director: Tarsem Singh Starring: Henry Cavill, Mickey Rourke, Freida Pinto. Rating: R for graphic violence, CG blood splatter, and shirtless Greek guys.  

Remember that scene in the 2010 fantasy/adventure Clash of the Titans when Zeus (Liam Neeson) turns to the camera and says “Release the Kraken,” and the Kraken jumped out of the sea and ate people?

That was awesome times infinity.

Immortals is also an fantasy/action movie featuring  Zeus and the other Gods on Mt. Olympus, but instead of Liam Neeson decked out in a Santa Claus beard and shimmering suit of armor, the Zeus in Immortals is played by skinny Welsh actor Luke Evans in a gold miniskirt and adorable matching cape.

And that’s one problem with Immortals.  It makes Clash of the Titans look great, when we all know Clash of the Titans wasn’t great.

Except for the above mentioned Kraken attack.  But what else do you expect from the Kraken? He’s a phenomenal talent. Always has been. Always will be.

In 1228 BC, average Grecian Theseus (Henry Cavill) lives a simple life with his Mom and a in a village that’s built into the side of a cliff for some reason.  I bet their High School has an amazing cliff diving team.

Things turn nasty when evil King Hyperion and his humungous army of extras from The Road Warrior begins marauding their way through the countryside and into Theseus’ village.

Hyperion is played by Mickey Rourke who does his best Marlon Brando/Colonel Kurtz impression while wearing funny helmets.

Hilarious.

King Hyperion wants to find the magic Epirus Bow which he will use to free the Titans who were imprisoned in Mount Tartarus so they will destroy the Zeus and his pals. Turns out Hyperion hates the Gods because they wouldn’t save his sick family, who I’m assuming were suffering from pink eye or an ingrown toenail, which was a death sentence in 1228 BC.

Hyperion’s goons capture Theseus and local virgin oracle Phaedra (Freida Pinto), whose psychic powers Hyperion hopes to use to lead him to the magic bow thing. Theseus and the virgin escape Hyperion’s men and with a small group of colorful supporting characters set out to find the bow before Hyperion’s army does and save ancient Greece from total destruction so years later Plato and Socrates could write all of those philosophy books we were supposed to read in that Intro to Philosophy class but didn’t.

The other problem with Immortals is it was made by the same guys who produced the swords and sandals action fest 300, so there’s plenty of slow-mo sword fighting and CG blood spurting all over on a completely CG rendered environment. But where 300 had Gerard Butler kicking some serious Persian ass, Immortals has Gods in gold miniskirts, virgin oracles, Mickey Rourke mumbling his lines, and a magic bow that shoots light saber arrows.

Okay, the light saber arrows were pretty cool.

And why do oracles have to be virgins? I would think the only future event a virgin oracle would want to see was the time when they finally get some.

That reminds me, did you know I was an oracle in High School?

Release the Kraken!