Some movies just aren’t worth the amount of time that I’d have to put in to write a whole review. Take Michael Bay’s Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen, for instance. It’s packed with star power. Shia LaBeouf (Shia of Beef??), Meghan Fox, and Josh Duhamel are in it. It made 17,000 buckets of money, yet there’s so much wrong with it that I don’t even know where to start. Well, yes I do. Here is Transformers 2 Revenge of the Fallenreviewed in five words or less:
Robots smash annoying teens please?
Buy Transformers stuff anyway because you love it.
I’ll admit it: when Iron Man came out in 2008, I pretty much had to be dragged to it by my much-more-enthusiastic-for-comic-book-movies brother. The trailer hadn’t made it look particularly interesting or different, and I was skeptical about their casting choice for Iron Man. Robert Downey Jr.?? Wasn’t he one of those guys who got famous, took up drugs, and fell off the end of the earth?? But I went anyway and I loved it. It was action packed, Robert Downey Jr. did a fantastic job, and it was unexpectedly funny, which endeared me to it instantly. Needless to say I jumped on tickets for the Thursday night midnight premiere of Iron Man 2 like a fat kid on a Smartie. The basic story for the film went something like this:
A slowly dying Tony Stark must pull himself out of his downward spiral of partying and eschewing his responsibilities to stop the military, his competitors in the arms business, and a bitter Russian physicist, who have teamed up to steal the iron suit technology.
I seem to be in the minority here among both critics and normal people but I loved Iron Man 2 less than Iron Man. (I’m used to it – the same thing happened with Batman Begins/Dark Knight) I think part of it is my instinctive loyalty to whatever I see first, but it’s more than that.
In this latest film manifestation of the werewolf legend, it’s the 1800s and Lawrence Talbot (Benicio Del Toro) returns to his home on the moors to search for his missing brother at the behest of said brother’s fiancee Gwen (Emily Blunt) and ends up suffering from lycanthropy and Daddy (Anthony Hopkins) Doesn’t Love Me Syndrome.
Lycanthropy, in folklore, is a physical transformation that occurs during the full moon, usually after receiving a bite from a werewolf. Though Wolfman was indeed bitten, its condition unfortunately did not cause it to turn into a good movie. Lackluster and kind of lame rather than frightening, it should be locked up and forgotten about lest it part more people from their money like its main character parts people’s heads from their bodies (i.e. forcefully).
First let me say that I’m not a professional movie critic. I actually have to PAY for all of my tickets, so naturally I haven’t seen everything, and I’m not putting movies on my list that I haven’t seen.
I was going to do Top 10 and Bottom 10 in separate articles, but then I realized that nearly half of the movies I’d seen would have to be on one list or the other (I counted, I’ve seen 42 movies this year, five of them more than once), so I pared it down to 5 of each.
There are some films (Hurt Locker and Bright Star in particular) that might have been on the “top” list if I’d seen them, but they never came to Sydney. I also tend to avoid movies if I think they’re going to be bad, so the ones on this list are the ones that slipped through my filters and/or I was dragged to by friends.
That said, on with the best and worst films I’ve seen in theaters in 2009.
If his filmography is anything to go by, Samuel L. Jackson will act in anything. He’s appeared in no fewer than 127 productions in 37 years, which is an average of 3.5 jobs per year. The only explanation I can think of for his being so absurdly busy is that he made himself a promise that he would accept any role that came to him regardless of size, moneymaking potential, or quality. That’s how we ended up with this underrated gem of a film:
a film so simple the title doubles as the synopsis
Amazingly, the simple formula Snakes on a Plane follows turned out to be a winner. This is its mathematical expression, no doubt used in the pitch meeting for the film to tone down the immense complexity of the idea into something studio executives could understand:
snake + plane = money
In fact, this model was so successful that they’re already working on a sequel, Snakes on a Plane 2: Snakes on a Train (I kid you not, that is the real title). While the odds of you making any money off the original franchise are only slightly higher than the possibility of your winning the European lottery, Samuel L. Jackson’s willingness to work on everything his schedule will allow does give you the potential to cash in.
It’s almost Christmastime, and if your dad is anything like my dad, you’re probably out there looking around for some smash-em-up movies on DVD or BluRay to present to the man who has everything on Santaday.
My dad’s already seen this one (and given it two broken, electrocuted thumbs up), so I thought I would generously donate it to you as a gift idea.
The generic, nonjudgmental blurb for Taken would go something like this:
When his teenage daughter is kidnapped, a former spy working a security detail must plunge headfirst into the world of gangs, drugs, and prostitution to get her back.
For females and other discerning persons wondering whether to offer to watch it with dad, or trying to mentally disentangle this particular shootyfest with the litany of other, similar shootyfests you’ve seem, here’s my more judgmental take: