Monthly Archives: December 2013

I Arrest Dead People!

RIPD R.I.P.D. (2103)  Director: Robert Schwentke Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Jeff Bridges, Mary Louise Parker, Kevin Bacon Rating: PG-13 for bad language, gunplay, CG violence, and the blatant ripping off Men in Black. 

I don’t know what happens when you die, but I imagine you go to a place where time and space no longer exist and you are stuck in a perpetual limbo that has neither a beginning or an end.

So basically the afterlife is very much like getting your drivers license renewed at the Department of Motor Vehicles. On a weekend.

In movies like R.I.P.D., people don’t die and go to heaven, they hang around among the mortals to fix things, right wrongs,  and appear in buddy cop movies. The last one is for people who have done very very bad things while on earth.

Nick (a very bored Ryan Reynolds) is a hotshot Boston cop with a hot French wife (Stephanie Szostak) and a cool partner (Kevin Bacon) who drives a really cool Muscle car because movie cops always drive cool muscle cars.

During a huge drug raid Hayes (Bacon) shows his true jerkiness when he kills Nick because Nick knows about some gold they took from a previous bust.  But before Nick can go towards the light to that big home for prettyboy actors in the sky, he finds himself at the headquarters of the R.I.P.D.,  a Police Department for the afterlife where  Proctor (Mary-Louise Parker), head of the Boston branch and chief of plot exposition tells Nick he has to spend the next 100 years keeping the mortal world safe from “deados,” which are  spirits who remain on earth and hide in humans to cause trouble or something: truth is Mary-Louse looked so bored delivering the backstory of the R.I.P.D. I dozed off for a bit.

I dreamed I was a glove salesman in a world where people have no hands. What the hell does that mean?

Anyhoo, since this is a buddy-cop movie, newbie Nick is paired with grizzled veteran Roy Pusipher (Jeff Bridges in full Rooster Cogburn mode), a 19th century U.S. Marshall who loves shooting deados and hates rookie partners.

As Roy shows Nick the ropes of being afterlife cops they unravel a plan where the deados are rebuilding an ancient golden artifact which will return the dead from the afterlife to earth where they plan on starting home businesses and helping the homeless by building affordable low income housing.

Nah, they want to bring on armageddon. It’s what dead people do.

Can Nick and Roy learn to trade witty banter as a team and stop Kevin Bacon from taking over the world?

Like there’s any one who can stop Kevin Bacon. Have you seen Footloose?

R.I.P.D. has all the parts you need to make a huge blockbuster movie: a handsome leading man, a comic relief sidekick, lots of action, and plenty of CG stuff the kids love..

But just because something has four wheels and an engine doesn’t mean its a Ferarri. And since this flick bombed at the box office earlier this year it was plain to everyone that this movie is no Ferrari.

R.I.P.D. is a 1988 Pontiac Fiero GT.

Trust me. That’s not good.

And this concludes DVD Critics Corner for 2013. Thank you very much for reading. Have a wonderful holiday season and a Happy New Year!

See you in 2014. 

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Rock’em Sock’em Robots!

pacific-rim-101

PACIFIC RIM (2013)  Director: Guillermo del Toro Starring: Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba, Rinko Kikuchi, Charlie Day, and Ron Perlman Rating: PG-13 for big robots punching big monsters and lots of stuff getting stepped on. 

Hey.

In a review I posted a while back I shared a detailed list of all the special things I look for in a movie that make it worthy of this blog. Creating this list was a near impossible task that took me years to put together and cost me every penny of my family’s fortune, plus I had to kill several cold blooded ninja assassins who wanted to discover the secrets of my list.

Of course the ninjas could have just read my blog where the list was out in the open for everyone to read. If they had only subscribed to my blog, they’d still be alive doing ninja assassin stuff today.

Anyhoo, here are the things that make a movie worthy of a review here on DVD Critics Corner:

1. A gratuitous amount of violence which includes any or all of the following: gun play, sword play, close quarter hand to hand combat, kung fu fighting, and lots and lots of kicking.

2. Space aliens, other worldly monsters, scary zombies, cool robots, or at the very least Ron Perlman.

3. Plenty of explosions which destroy property and/or motor vehicles.

4. A complete lack of Katherine Heigl.

Hold onto your hats folks because I have found a movie that has scored a perfect 100% on the DVD Critics Corner Movie Worthiness Checklist (pat. pend.).

It’s Pacific Rim, Guillermo del Toro’s action epic tribute to the Japanese monster movies we all know and love!

It’s got monsters! It’s got robots! It’s got destruction! It has Ron Perlman! It has absolutely no Katherine Heigl!

A movie that satisfies all my prerequisites at this special time of year? It’s a Christmas miracle!

Here is a bunch of things that happen in the movie:

In the not too distant future, Earth is just fine until a bunch of giant monsters begin attacking it! These towering creatures (known as Kaijus) are coming from another dimension through a portal in the Pacific Ocean and are determined to wipe out all the people; even the really nice ones who say please and thank you.

When conventional weapons fail to slow down the Kaiju attacks, the governments of the Pacific Rim nations decide the best way to fight these monsters is with equally giant robots with supercool weapons, because the governments of the Pacific Rim nations are run by nine year old boys.

The giant robots (named Jaegers) battle the Kaijus for the survival of Earth, but as the the years go by the Kaijus get bigger and stronger and their attacks become more frequent, leaving the humans with little hope for survival and a huge stack of giant robot repair bills.

The last four super Jaeger bots gather in Hong Kong where for some reason it always rains to end the war by destroying the portal and sending those monsters back to the computer generated heck they came from!

Commander Pentacost (Idris Elba) recruits Raleigh (a well chiseled Charlie Hunnam) as his ace in the hole.  A former Jaeger pilot who’s been out of the war for a while he may be the maverick who has the right stuff to ride into the danger zone and other movie cliches.

But Raleigh needs a co-pilot, since the robots need two people to work all of the controls and two brains that must be electronically linked to handle all of the complex computer stuff. Raleigh meets with several candidates who are physically and mentally up for the challenge, and settles on Moko (Rinko Kikuchi), an untested warrior who is loaded with determination, courage…

mako

And hotness. Let’s not forget hotness.

There’a plenty of action and excitement in Pacific Rim as huge robots punch huge monsters then huge huge weapons to slice and dice the monsters into tiny but still huge pieces. As I said before the movie is reminiscent of those 60’s Japanese monster movies featuring Godzilla, King of the Monsters, Gamera: Guardian of the Universe, and Mothra: The Big Stupid Moth that Nobody Liked.  But instead of men in rubber suits smashing scale model buildings and fighter jets, millions of computer guys created every monster, robot, ocean, city, and explosion in Pacific Rim. 

Which is what they do nowadays, and that’s okay I guess. Personally, I miss all the cool model buildings getting smashed and stepped on with the tiny explosions and the model jets flying around on clearly visible wires.  What I’m trying to say is I like my special effects like I like my women; cheap and from the 1960s.

Pacific Rim is a great deal of fun with the fighting robots, evil monsters, a delightful cameo by everyone’s favorite thespian Ron Perlman, and the destruction of major (though computer generated) cities and property.

And no Katherine Heigl.

Best Christmas gift EVER.