Sin City: A Dame to Kill For: Too Little, WAY Too Late

Sin City 2

Tagline: There is no justice without sin.

Year: 2014           Runtime: 102 min

Director: Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller

Writer: Frank Miller

Starring: Mickey Rourke, Jessica Alba, Josh Brolin, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Rosario Dawson, Bruce Willis, Eva Green, Powers Boothe, Dennis Haysbert, Ray Liota, Christopher Lloyd

Synopsis (from IMDb):

“Some of Sin City’s most hard-boiled citizens cross paths with a few of its more reviled inhabitants.”

Imagine if The Wachowski Siblings had taken 9 years to release The Matrix Reloaded. The bullet time would be more wonky than Jack Elam’s eye, and the poor excuse for a story would have got one, if not both, lynched. That’s Sin City 2: A Dame to Kill For. Sin City was a fun movie for fans of the comic, but Sin City 2 is like putting lipstick on the old puckered poo hole, pointless. And it messes up a perfectly good pair of underwear.

Bottom Line: Not worth it.

Trailer:

Singham Returns: So?

Singham Returns

Year: 2014           Runtime: 142 min

Director: Rohit Shetty

Writer: Farhad (dialogue), Sajid (dialogue), Yunus Sajawal (screenplay)

Starring: Ajay Devgn, Kareena Kapoor, Amole Gupte, Anupam Kher

Synopsis (from IMDb):

“Owing to the wrongdoings affiliated with evils similar to black money, an honest but ferocious police officer returns as the Deputy Commissioner of Police with the prospect of wiping out injustice.”

When you create a super cop who can snatch a bad guy out of the driver’s side window of a car flipping over his head, your sequel has some Michael Bay sized shoes to fill. Sadly, Singham Returns is as flaccid as my diabetes affected meaties. There is a bad-ass car stunt, and a couple good punches and kicks, but you can see all of that in the trailer. Don’t believe the hype.

Bottom Line: Not worth it.

Trailer:

The Expendables 3: A Painful Hard-on

The Expendables 3

Tagline: Never send a boy to do a man’s job.

Year: 2014           Runtime: 126 min

Director: Patrick Hughes

Writer: Sylvester Stallone, Creighton Rothenberger, Katrin Benedikt

Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Harrison Ford, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mel Gibson, Wesly Snipes, Dolph Lundgren, Randy Couture, Terry Crews, Kelsey Grammer, Glen Powell, Antonio Benderas, Victor Ortiz, Ronda Rousey, Kellan Lutz

Synopsis (from IMDb):

“Barney augments his team with new blood for a personal battle: to take down Conrad Stonebanks, the Expendables co-founder and notorious arms trader who is hell bent on wiping out Barney and every single one of his associates.”

I don’t know if there is a scientific delineation for when a long-lasting erection becomes a priapism, but I’m sure if a guy is hard long enough to be disturbed by it that’s good enough. This little blue pill of an experiment has been going on now for three movies too long. Hopefully run it’s course because these poor old bastards can’t keep it up.

Come on, now. You’ve had a good run. I know it’s difficult, but it’s time to give it a rest before you fuck around and break something.

Bottom Line: Not worth it.

Trailer:

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Childrens Think It’s AWE-some!

TMNT

Tagline: Mysterious. Dangerous. Reptilious. You’ve never seen heroes like this.

Year: 2014           Runtime: 101 min

Director: Jonathan Liebesman

Writer: Josh Appelbaum, André Nemec, Evan Daugherty

Starring: Megan Fox, Will Arnett, William Fitchner

Synopsis (from IMDb):

“A group of mutated warriors face off against an evil kingpin who wants to take over New York.”

There are three types who will see this film: (1) fans of the comic book (2) spastic pre-teen children and (3) movie critics.

If you’re a fan of the comics, especially the ORIGINAL (read in the smuggest, slack-jawed drawl of self-importance), this movie, like everything that was done to the franchise after said ORIGINAL, is whore’s crap. Same goes for movie critics, unless you’re an ass-licking liar looking for favors. Then it’s Tony the Tiger all the way, “It’s Grrrrrrrrrrreeeeeeeaaaaaaattttttt!”

If you’re a spastic pre-teen children, you’ll fall in with the ass-licking liars: you’ll love it. Ultimately it doesn’t matter ‘cos you’ll forget the whole damned thing before you reach the light of the lobby, but eh. At least your parent(s) had an hour and forty minutes of peace.

Honestly, TMNT falls somewhere in between Hercules and Captain America: The Winter Soldier. It’s a movie about 15 year old, mutated box turtles who are ninjas, and it actually has 15 year old, mutated box turtles who are ninjas, making it better than Hercules. Yet, because it’s about 15 year old, mutated box turtles who are ninjas, filtered through Nickelodeon’s lens focusing it on spastic pre-teen children, it’s less entertaining than Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Captain America was focused on spastic teen/young adult childrens, thus making it more appealing to the refined tastes of viewers like myself.

So, if you’ve got spastic pre-teen children, or a nephew/niece that fits the description, TMNT will get them out of your hair for about 101 minutes.

Trailer:

Guardians of the Galaxy: Pure Viewing Satisfaction

Guardians of the Galaxy

Tagline: All heroes start somewhere.

Year: 2014           Runtime: 121 min

Director: James Gunn

Writer: James Gunn, Nicole Perlman

Starring: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Vin Disel, Bradley Cooper, Dave Bautista

Synopsis (from the official website):

“Brash adventurer Peter Quill finds himself the object of an unrelenting bounty hunt after stealing a mysterious orb coveted by Ronan, a powerful villain with ambitions that threaten the entire universe. To evade the ever-persistent Ronan, Quill is forced into an uneasy truce with a quartet of disparate misfits—Rocket, a gun-toting raccoon, Groot, a tree-like humanoid, the deadly and enigmatic Gamora and the revenge-driven Drax the Destroyer. But when Quill discovers the true power of the orb and the menace it poses to the cosmos, he must do his best to rally his ragtag rivals for a last, desperate stand—with the galaxy’s fate in the balance.”

FINALLY! The summer movie we’ve been waiting for. After the flop that was Hercules, I was ready to write off this season as another ho-hum summer. But damned if James Gunn didn’t sucker punch the apathy right out of me. What’s more, he did so with an unknown franchise (to the general public, Comic Nerd, not you). Brilliant.

Guardians of the Galaxy is for people who like scoundrels, people who love Han Solo BECAUSE he shot first. From the trailers you can tell Starlord (Chris Pratt) is a smart-assed Captain Mal type. Pratt owns the character. What’s cooler is there’s another bad boy: Rocket. Rocket is the raccoon who has the bodyguard tree thing, Groot. Kinda like Han Solo and Chewy. But Rocket’s not some Solo knock off. He’s Han Solo meets Bender B. Rodriguez. Pure AWE-some. Bam!

Han Solo was the character who defined the ultimate in cool for me and my generation. I can see Starlord, and/or Rocket, being that for this generation. Guardians of the Galaxy has all the cool effects and fights and what have you, but it excels because you love the characters. You’ve got to see this in the theaters, possibly several times. I know I will. You will not be disappointed.

Thank you, James Gunn, for restoring my faith in Hollywood’s ability to make wildly entertaining movies. Now get back to work on Guardians of the Galaxy 2.

Trailer:

Lucy: Proof a Little Knowledge is a Bad Thing

Film Title: Lucy

Tagline: The average person uses 10% of their brain capacity. Imagine what she could do with 100%.

Year: 2014           Runtime: 90 min

Director: Luc Besson

Writer: Luc Besson

Starring: Scarlett Johansson, Morgan Freeman, Min-sik Choi

Synopsis: (from the official website):

“Lucy, an action-thriller that tracks a woman accidentally caught in a dark deal who turns the tables on her captors and transforms into a merciless warrior evolved beyond human logic.”

“The mind is a terrible thing to waste. Knowledge is power. Platitudes are smart. I think I’ll make a movie!”—Besson

From the trailer Lucy looked like it might be an interesting movie. For the most part it was. Lucy (Scarlett Johansson) gets an overdose of some drugs that increase her brain’s functioning. A’ight. This extra “functioning” amounts to super powers. Cool. The more her brain works, the more powers she has. Sweet. She kicks ass, particularly those who implanted the stuff in her. Noice! She seeks help from Morgan Freeman (Duh! Who wouldn’t in her situation. He’s a professor of brain studies at some university and has a soothing voice to help calm your nerves, which are all ablaze ‘cos of the situation.)

At this point you start to wonder, where are we going with all of this? This is where Besson kicks you in the throat. He either watched too many Nova reruns, or got a hold of the Eyewitness Big Book on the Brain, or both. Therein he was inspired by some of the fun facts about the universe, the brain, pregnancy hormones, and international jurisdiction laws. This mixture cooked up the moral of the story:

“We were given life a billion years ago, and now you know what to do with it.” —Lucy

Yeah. Go to Taipei. They’ve got the good shit there. It’ll give you superpowers. Better still, if you overdose, the side effect is evolution to a higher plane of existence. Take that, potheads! Yeah, ODing on marijuana never killed anyone, but did it ever cause someone to evolve? Put that in your bong and smoke it.

Lucy could have been a decent action film with a strong female lead. But rather than make a straight forward movie, Besson, following the French school of filmmaking, bogged it down with clever French philosophy, i.e. pretentious bullshit. Aldous Huxley expressed it best when he wrote: Finding bad reasons for what one believes for other bad reasons—that’s French philosophy.

Lucy is worth watching, just not paying for. Wait for it to come out on Netflix.

Trailer:

Hercules: Hercules is the Cake

Hercules

Tagline: Before he was a legend, he has a man.

Year: 2014          Runtime: 89 min

Director: Brett Ratner

Writer: Ryan Condall (screenplay) & Evan Spiliotopoulos (screenplay)

Starring: Dwayne Johnson, John Hurt, Ian McShane

Synopsis (from the official website):

“Both man and myth, Hercules (Dwayne Johnson) leads a band of mercenaries to help end a bloody civil war in the land of Thrace and return the rightful king to his throne. A tormented soul from birth, Hercules has the strength of a God but feels the suffering of a human.”

The Cake is a Lie

“Before he was a legend, he was a man.”

Uhm, no. He was, is, and always will be a fictional character. Thanks for fucking that up. Twice in one Summer Hollywood has managed to completely miss the mark with something that should have been a slam dunk (see Godzilla). SO glad to paid $15 to see a regular dude do some regular dude stuff.

Why in the hell would someone do this? My first thought—and I’m sure this is still partially the case considering Peter Berg was a driving force behind this—“Some dumb ass producer thinks he’s creating something clever.” But that wasn’t the case. My research turned up the root cause, i.e. Steve Moore, the writer of Radical Comics Hercules The Thracian Wars, which this movie is based on. The answer is in an interview where Steve says: “I think it basically comes down to the fact that I wanted, as much as possible, to treat Hercules as a real person, rather than some sort of superhero, which is a genre I detest and which, fortunately, I’ve always managed to avoid writing.”

In other words it’s like Tim Burton, who would “never read a comic book” making a Batman movie.

Brilliant. Simply brilliant.

Even when I tried to be generous, looking beyond the bait and switch, which was a Herculean labor in itself, the “heroic journey” the movie portrays isn’t all that heroic. Yeah, Hercules kicks ass, but I don’t really care about him, much less his band of merry men (and woman) who perpetuate the lie. The one thing that would make him more sympathetic, his wife and children, are glossed over. Honestly, after the fist five minutes I was ready for the movie to end.

This movie fails on all levels. Don’t bother watching it, even if it’s free. You’ve got better this to do with you life, like grow throbbing hemorrhoids from sitting on the toilet too long. I’m sad to write that because I like Dwayne Johnson a lot, but Hercules is a sun-bleached log of shit that needs disposing. The sooner it’s out of sight the sooner we can forget it ever happened. I was really hoping this would be something big for Johnson to hang his hat on, like Schwarzenegger’s Conan. Something iconic. Nope.

Sigh. Maybe next time, Rock.

Trailer: