Tag Archives: Oscars

Immortals: My First 3D Experience

If you ever feel like having a stick of dynamite stuffed in your ear and detonated, see this movie. It won’t just blow your mind, it will blow your head off. From the same producers that brought you 300, here comes a slightly updated version. Based on the mythology of Theseus and the gods, comes an epic tale of one man versus a league of Hyperion’s horde. Combine the zero to hero life of Hercules with Theseus’ humble peasant background and subtract 299 troops and you have Immortals. Here’s the drawback to my plan. I saw this the day it came out and I was pumped. My birthday movie (Nov. 12th) and The 11.11.11 date release was epic. But… it was only in 3-D. Major crisis could not be averted.

And here is where I gripe about 3-D. There are logical reasons that Hollywood won’t acknowledge about the flaws of 3-D because of how much money it is unfortunately raking in. First of all, coming from generations upon generations (basically back to the 1900’s) who have enjoyed and watched films, these 3-D films look fake. The cheesy effect of things coming out at you from a film (i.e. a bow or sword) takes you out of the movie watching experience. Being constantly conscious of things popping out at you at all

The questing group. Nice.

moments of the film puts it in a realm of disbelief about what is being portrayed onscreen. The headaches it creates from an unprepared audience (and from those who must wear glasses beneath glasses, *ahem* me) and the cost headache it creates is just too much. And everything, even movies that hold next to no 3-D value/scenes, are released for the sake of money. That shouldn’t be what the film industry is about, but, alas, it is.

So, let’s talk about every single good thing about this movie, and then I’ll give you my one problem with the movie. Okay, here we go.

Henry Cavill as Theseus. Check out that butt-chin.

Alright, Henry Cavill as Theseus. In an action film, I, for the most part, forgive the acting of those involved. For most who view these movies, they know no Oscars are coming its way and its for the entertainment value. A movie that sticks to its genre/guns is something I truly appreciate. And Henry Cavill, a relative newcomer to films (first big thing, The Count of Monte Cristo, other notables, Tristian and Isolde and The Tudors) performs in what I would consider an above average performance. Not on par with King Leonidas (Gerard Butler) but a similar gusto. He may come from Jersey (the original) but that doesn’t make him a horrible person, this English bred actor delivers and will hopefully deliver in Zack Snyder’s new Superman film, Man of Steel. I really wish these superhero movies would stop though…

Alright, here’s something that might surprise you. I’m a big Stephen Dorff fan. This dude, despite starring more often in action films and such below the Oscar radar, he has won my affection. Let’s talk Blade. Deacon Frost, the head of the vampires. Witty and evil as most comic book villains should be, Stephen Dorff delivers as the best villain in that series. Luke Goss in the second, a close second. Feardotcom, another good one. A little bit of an underrated horror film, this held some of the inspiration for the Saw series if I’m not mistaken. Throw in World Trade Center and Public Enemies, and you have a character actor with some pizzaz. As Stavros, the longest surviving of Theseus’ homies, the comic relief emanates from him.

Stephen Dorff. What a master.

We got Freida Pinto for the sex appeal. I gotta warn you, a 3-D nude ass in your face is something quite strange. With a similar sex scene to 300 with the plot device of The Scorpion King (let’s see who gets that), this scene had me laughing because of how uncomfortably cheesy it was. Here’s someone I wasn’t familiar with. Luke Evans as Zeus. He played Apollo in Clash of the Titans (ironic, and also a sad film) and was recently a very similarly looking character in The Three Musketeers. I am looking forward to the new Hobbit film, something it seems Evans will have a small part in. So, as Zeus, Luke Evans delivers a very intense character who can theatrically deliver lines. Probably picked more for his youth than skill, I wasn’t really disappointed at all. (All the Greek gods are supposed to be redonkulously good looking, right?)

All of the Greek gods: Zeus, Ares (Daniel Sharman), Athena (Isabel Lucas, niceee), and Poseidon (Kellan Lutz) were all good in their roles. Chiseled bodys of gods (reminds me of 300…) and a brisk demeanor places them above the mortals. And then there’s the special effects. The fight scenes were brutal. Just check out Ares taking out all of those slave overlords like Gallagher. The spear throw and the bow use is pretty ridiculous. These surge of films (Troy, 300, and now Immortals) are really bringing back the badassness of the spear. Combine this with the most important factor, the director. Tarsem Singh is the amazing visual director of two amazing films, The Cell and The Fall. Especially in The Fall, I can really see the resonance this movie holds with its director’s predecessors. Check those movies out if you haven’t already.

Damn you, King Rourke.

Alright, the downfall of this film. Two words. King Hyperion. Also, and more importantly, Mickey Rourke. This Disney named fool needs to stay in obscurity and out of films. The person he has become because of the drugs and addiction has created a monster. I didn’t like him in Sin City, The Wrestler, or Iron Man 2. The only movie I like him is is Diner from way back in 1982. Back when he was a real person and not a shell of the man he is now. It’s quite a sad thing. Oh well, like all actors, he will fall someday.

With a basic, easy to follow plot of the quest, this movie creates amazing landscapes for fight scenes (including the Gate of Mordor) and a fight scene towards the end with the locked away Titans that will blow you away. Created after so many years, it was almost too long of a lull between Immortals and 300. This movie needed to happen and it delivered. Not exactly a copy off of 300, but well worth the watch. Just avoid the 3-D and you’ll be fine. Maybe even skip over the mind-addled mumblings of Rourke while he eats his nuts, but we’ll see. This movie deserves a 8.4 out of 10.

This scene was ridic.

 

Advertisements

The Room: Greatest Comedic Failure Ever Made

Let me paint you a tale of the worst movie ever made. Or would it be the greatest? Either way, Tommy Wiseau went there. In The Room, (Directed, Produced, Written, Starring Tommy Wiseau) we are given Tommy Wiseau’s greatest masterpiece. The Room, a story of a love triangle between a frumpy woman, a up and coming porn star, and a deranged mental patient escaped from Croatia. In actuality, the means to the end of one of the greatest dramadies ever created. And it’s so heart wrenching and inspiring that I can’t stand it.

But really, Tommy Wiseau released this film in the high hopes it would become an example of a great drama or, as he claims, a dark comedy with the humor as intentional. Let me tell you, anybody who saw that movie, in theaters, really was in for a treat. And I wish I had been one of them. This movie, in all respects, utterly fails. Whatever thought Tommy Wiseau had in his mind about this film, any idea of it as a

"Youre tearing me apart Lisa!"

respectable film at all, should have been thrown out the window the second he spoke. Or rather didn’t speak. Almost every single one of Tommy Wiseau’s lines was dubbed after the film was shot. It makes for one of the funniest aspects of the film.

Let’s just go through how this movie fails, and in that way, how it succeeds. First of all, Tommy himself stars in this film as Johnny. He’s the man who’s being cheated on by his fiance with his best friend. His best friend. But Mark (Greg Sestero) is his best friend. This point will be driven home about every 10 minutes. Juliette Danielle plays Lisa, Johnny’s disgusting wife. Really, I don’t know why either guy in this film wants to bang her. And speaking of banging, the first 40 minutes of this film is a softcore porno. And, to make things worse, Tommy Wiseau jumped on Danielle within the first day of shooting. She really would’ve been better off trying to start her career in porn and failing miserably.

But the first 40 minutes is wherein lies the beauty of the film. The soundtrack. You will be serenaded to a handful of tracks as both Johnny and Mark mount

Whats going on here... Possible sex scene?

Lisa from the side and the top, in that awkward angle where all you see is Tommy Wiseau’s tanned and wrinkling buttocks. It’s quite strange. I really hope that he never intended for those sex scenes to come off as anything more than some twisted ego trip to force people to stare at his glorious body naked, on screen. But yes, we are given Boyz II Men quality R&B love ballads as Tommy does his thing all over Lisa, and then he does it again, and then Mark, and then Mark again. You really don’t know what direction this movie is taking within the first half an hour.

The rest of the film is fantastic. We are introduced to Michelle and Mike (Robyn Paris & Mike Holmes. Wow.) the couple who love to perform chocolate oral sex in other people’s living rooms, and then get caught by an old woman. And that old woman? Claudette, the breast cancer ridden nagger who is relentlessly trying to convince Lisa, her daughter, to stay with Johnny forever. If only for money. And from the looks of their apartment and how retarded Tommy Wiseau is, I would say there is no financial security in that man. She comes over, from I don’t know how far away, to have 3 minute talks in Johnny’s apartment. What kind of a mother is that.

Favorite character hands down? Denny (Philip Haldiman) This kid really brings the film together. Denny is the financial egg and complete dependent of Johnny and Lisa and makes it a point to come over. All the time. For no

Look at Denny, that creep.

reason. He’ll just pop his head in with a football. Break in and make his way to the roof. All sorts of creepy shit. It’s really bothersome. And he has a thing for Lisa. AND Johnny. He wants them to both have sex in front of him, just for the pure pleasure of watching. And he doesn’t even look young enough to play a high school/college student. There’s just something not right with that weirdo.

And you can tell this movie wasn’t good. A ton of anonymous members of The Room came out and said terrible things about the movie. Another great part of the movie was when Peter miraculously and inexplicably becomes Steven. Peter (Kyle Vogt) dropped out of the film and was replaced by Steven (Greg Ellery). And there are no attempts to explain why some random guy comes over and tries to help Lisa with her relationship problems. This film has more holes than a block of Swiss cheese. And smells worse when its grown mold. Just hilariously awful.

I mean, what else is there to say about The Room? Terrible actors. Covered. Terrible director/producer/writer/actor. Check. The bad Boyz II Men tribute soundtrack. The actors that fall of the face of the earth like the Rock of Gibraltar. The sets. OH THE SETS. This movie takes place in 3 locations. Bedroom, apartment roof, living room. That’s it. And you can tell that thoser sets haven’t been used since the 70’s. You can tell that they’re sets! As Johnny and Denny throw the ball around like 3 year old girls, you know they aren’t ballin’ it up on a roof. They’re ballin’ it up right next to the set of Full House. Pathetic.

And therein lies the genius of this film. If you can call what Tommy Wiseau egotistically calls a tour de force of drama. But let’s imagine, if you will, for a second. What if Tommy Wiseau released this film, with the hidden intention of solidifying his film as the worst movie ever made? Just 8 short years ago, good ole Tommy got the idea to break the boundaries of what is considered a film and put together the worst one possibly conceivable. Then what a genius he would be. Every critics review would turn into amazing praise for the God that is Wiseau. He would be winning Oscars left and right, for years past 2003. That, in truth, would be the work of a true film aficionado. Sadly, I feel that this mentally deficient, psychotically narcissistic sociopath could not have concocted such a brilliant plan. If he did, 10 out of 10.

Really. Enough said.

But he didn’t. 0.1 out of 10 (Although for humorous purposes, I would give it a 6.3 out of 10.)

And here’s the best scene. You’re my favorite customer.


Sucker Punch: Everything You Want From Zack Snyder

There is only one word that can completely encompass what this movie truly is.

Incredible.

Sucker Punch. Yes.

Plain and simply incredible. When I went with a crew to watch this movie, some didn’t know what to expect. Others were excited. Even few others, me and my roommate/best friend Ian were just about ready to cause some mayhem up in that theater because of pure joy. This movie, as of this year, is my favorite movie of 2011. Heck, best of the past two years, let’s just throw 2010 in there. I thought, hey, The Fighter will clinch my favorite and do okay at the Oscars. Granted. Now… If only Sucker Punch had come out in 2010. It would have blown The Fighter out of the water. This movie was some ridiculous shit. Hands down.

You really will be unprepared.

Let me try to explain this without giving anything away. Not much to give away though, it’s really all just about the experience. Baby Doll (Emily Browning) is a supposed mental patient accused of killing her sister and almost murdering her father. She became deranged after her mother’s death and couldn’t take it any longer. Her father takes her to a mental asylum in Vermont and she is held there until she’ll be lobotomized in a week.

Parallel to this runs Baby Doll’s inner fantasy of being taken to a bordello in which the girls dance for their clients. Baby Doll, being that unattainable virgin, is being withheld for the high roller (Jon Hamm) that is set to come in five days. Baby Doll plans on escaping before that day and enlists the help of four other girls at the bordello. Sweet Pea (Abby Cornish), Rocket (Jena Malone), Blondie (Vanessa Hudgens), and Amber (Jamie Chung). With their help, Baby Doll further escapes from reality into her mind as she dances to obtain the four items she needs to stage an escape. And that’s basically it.

Let me just start off by saying that Emily Browning was amazing in this movie. She’s beautiful, talented, and really come into her own in her early twenties.

Emily Browning. New Favorite Actress.

I’ve seen all her movies since 2000, major and minor roles (Ghost Ship, Darkness Falls, Lemony Snicket’s, The Uninvited, now Sucker Punch) and enjoyed every one of them. As she’s grown up, she has taken on a wide array of movies, from horror to children’s to action and the occasional drama. If I had to pick a favorite actress that I’m going to watch from now on, I’m going to place my bid on Emily Browning.

And that’s not to demean the rest of the girls in this film. I really enjoyed the Abby Cornish/Jena Malone combo. Acting as sisters who followed one another to the bordello, these two really did feel like sisters. I’ve found Jena Malone great since Donnie Darko with her alternative look and quirky acting, and now I’ve got a new actress to look out for. Abby Cornish, a new up and

Sweet Pea & Rocket

comer from Australia, was quite the actress, and I didn’t even know she was from there! In other movies she’s done (Bright Star, Elizabeth: The Golden Age) she stuck to her roots and did more period pieces. But I find now that she’s broken more into action and other forms of drama, I feel we’ll be seeing a lot more of Abby Cornish.

Blondie & Amber. They're okay.

And then there’s Vanessa Hudgens and Jamie Chung. Let me put it this way. Vanessa Hudgens is attractive. She may be talented in the way of singing and Disney Channel acting. But the part as a supporting cast member in Sucker Punch was about the only thing she could play. She was more for show than for play if you catch my drift. Jamie Chung on the other hand was a bit better. Playing as the fragile transporter bordello girl in this movie was not a stretch for a girl I’ve only seen in Sorority Row (not bad, I must say, even though most critics wouldn’t agree. It was brutal, at least.) Oh, AND SHE WAS IN DRAGONBALL: EVOLUTION. Enough said.

Who I have to give it up to in this movie is Oscar Isaac. That man can act. As Blue, the bordello boss and mental asylum orderly, he switched between roles flawlessly at the end and kept up that “don’t mess with me, I have a short fuse” type of acting style. Although he may seem not that strong or menacing, he pulled it off with his voice and actions throughout the entire film. The first thing I’d seen him in was Pu-239 (great film) and I remember him distinctly in

Oscar Isaacs, Prince John. Better in Sucker Punch

Robin Hood as Prince John, quite the effeminate, yet brutal character. I guess if I had to compare him in acting to anyone, I would say Joaquin Phoenix (like in Gladiator).

Now, let’s talk about the special effects. I’ve heard people liken this movie to a two hour Final Fantasy cutscene. Yes. I agree. But about 1,000 times better. This movie was insane when it came to special effects. No need to see this in 3-D, this movie was just as badass in 2-D. This movie has everything (probably why they called it Fantasy, Sci-fi, Suspense, Thriller, Action… etc.) There are zombie WWI German soldiers, Orcs, Dragons, killer robots, you name it, this movie has got it. And it’s not cliche. It gives an authentic feeling to the old classics that every man in the world has imagined battling. And then it does it. Zack Snyder directive attention to the details of the small things, example, the texture of bullets and shell casings, the way glass looks when it is rained on, the inner workings of a functioning robot. All present and accounted for, slowed down, and shown in detail. That’s what I call devotion to the art of art direction.

All in all, this movie is hands down the best movie I’ve seen in a year. But what else do you expect from Zack Snyder. Let’s recap, shall we? 300, Watchmen, Guardians of Ga’hoole, Sucker Punch. That beginning of a laundry list of badass movies is what I like to call ridiculous. Zack Snyder is fastly becoming one of my favorite directors. 11 out of 10. Yes. 11.

Oh, and the SOUNDTRACK. Check it out, it’s quite amazing.