All my Movie Reviews under One Roof
I haven't written a blog in a while. This is mostly down to winning the odd playwriting competition, going into rehearsals on a few sketches for the Spiegeltent, and generally taking life as easy as humanly possible.
I want to get back into it, so as a palette cleanser I thought I'd gather together all of the movie reviews I've done under my Facebook guise of Tazer McFictionzap. Some are angry, most are negative, but hopefully they're funny too. As ever if you disagree, want to start a fight, or just have something to say the comments box is right below. Come and have a go - if you think you're smart enough...
Covering 2013, from June onwards, these were my micro-reviews, before I really got interested in deconstructing movies through critique and piss-take. So mostly, these ones are just piss-take.
I've added the odd postscript, here and there, sometimes to add context, other times just to justify my tone.
This is 40 - June 2013
Thank you "This is 40" for stealing nearly three hours of my life without offering me any comedic or dramatic dispensation within that time. You know what's worse, "This is 40?" I am now three hours closer to being able understand what being 40 feels like. Would I only had those three hours back, think of the things I could do with my now aged shell of a life.
I had been a big fan of Judd Apatow's style of comedy, mixing the coarse with the human in Forty Year Old Virgin and Knocked Up. But with each new film he makes, he seems to become far more whimsical and far more indulgent. His sense of humour has disappeared, as has his empathy with reality - as evidenced by the above image of Paul Rudd spreading his legs over a mirror to check his rectum. His films are now completely cut off from reality, in favour of his moneyed and upper-middle class Schtick.
Collatoral - September 2013
Have just watched Michael Mann's Collateral - a film populated by the stupidest characters I have ever seen, taking the stupidest actions humanly possible, in the stupidest movie I've sat through since The Dark Knight Rises.
A hitman who dresses completely in Grey Armani ( topped off by an entirely grey head of hair ); police men who'd rather believe that a previously law-abiding cab driver is operating "on his own" than being coerced by a villain; a "hero" who tips his car upside down to prove he's in control of his own destiny and who then proceeds to handcuff the ONE police officer he could actually utilise to assist him ( even if it is at gunpoint ) and proceeds to try and tackle the hitman single handedly to rescue a woman he only met THIS MORNING ( and a hero who, rather than telephoning the police on his way to rescue same, actually waits until he is on the roof of the building opposite the one she works in and phones HER to tell her someone's coming to kill her. She should be all like, "what?" Instead she's all like, "oh no! It all makes sense!" ). Then there's the wolf scene where Tom Cruise comes to terms that he is a metaphorical wolf by seeing a real wolf and having a really flirtatious eye-contact scene with the real wolf and then thinks, hey that's me only instead of being a real wolf, I'm a metaphorical wolf. Played by Tom Cruise. The most conspicuous and obvious hitman since Leon. Stupid, stupid, stupid movie. Wasted, wasted, wasted morning.
Elysium - September 2013
Well, Elysium is the biggest pile of shite I've seen in a long, LONG time! If you thought District 9 had cartoon politics, wait til you get a load of THIS ridiculous wank. Dreadful, dreadful movie with hilariously childish politics clashing with embarrassingly awful writing and disgracefully stupid action. Just awful. No Spoilers but one question - why, if it's that easy for people to slap an exo-skeleton onto people, why aren't everyone on the planet walking around in one?
I forgot to mention Jodie Foster and Sharlto Copely's hideous performances, the stupidity of the Total Recall-esque Robocop robots, and the terrible, terrible christ allegory. Man of Steel eat your heart out.
Snow White and the Huntsman - September 2013
Dear Snow White and The Huntsman - I guess you've already guessed that I hate you. You remind me of a twelve year old's compilation tape of all the best bits from their favourite movies. You lack context. You're awful. Your favourite Lord of the Rings movie is The Two Towers, that's how misguided you are. However, you're lucky - this is the week I sat through Elysium, so you're NOT the worst movie I've seen since the weekend; and note to Peter Jackson - check out the dwarves in this movie. They are AWESOME!!!! No massively awful continuity shifts between real actors and midgets. No wibbly wobbly dwarfy walks in inappropriate moments ( see end of Return if the King when everyone's been crying and it's all sad and look how fat Samwise looks then we cut to a hilarious shot of Bilbo's double flibbling onto the boat ). Kudos Snow White and the Huntsman. Kudos. Still hate you though.
I was forced to sit through this gargoyle of a movie by two women. They received a perverse joy not only from this film, but from my increasing anger at it.
Iron Man 3 - September 2013
Dear Iron Man 3 - just wanted to let you know that, whilst I enjoyed your company, I'm afraid Iron Man 2 is better than you. Let me qualify this, Iron Man 3, if you please. It doesn't have a really stupid ending, like you do Iron Man 3. It also doesn't spend almost the entire running time proving how clever it is by continually "confounding" it's audience with easy-to-spot twists to the point that there actually doesn't appear to BE a plot. And even though Iron Man 2 asks us to believe that Mickey Rourke can create laser/electrical whips ( where do the lasers start and end Rourke? WHERE? Laser is just light, so unless it has a very definite point to reflect, refract, or absorb it, it's just going to keep on going ), it doesn't have your ridiculous flambe-people conceit - the questions that brings up Iron Man 3, the questions. You also wasted the following actors - Rebecca Hall, Ben Kingsley ( sir ), Jon Favreau, William Sadler, Miguel Ferrer and Don Cheadle. In favour of a child-actor. And Guy Pearce. Also - you had a pointless and stupid narration. Like I say, I enjoyed your company Iron Man 3 - you just outstayed your welcome. After the first twenty minutes.
Spoiler alert - Rebecca Hall gives a sassy, comic, dark, and ultimately emotive performance in Iron Man 3. She's awesome. The last performance Paltrow gave like that was in Shakespeare in Love. Why kill off Rebecca Hall in favour of that gimlet eyed coldplay groupie?
Gangster Squad – September 2013
Dear Gangster Squad - I enjoyed you. I really did! Honest, I'm not lying. I know you think everyone hates you and underneath that glossy well-made--up surface you're just a bundle of self-loathing nerves and as such when someone compliments you, you think it's a veiled attack. This is what happens when you test the waters of fame with more than just a big toe and I understand that people have been unnecessarily cruel about you. But I really did enjoy you. Honest. It's just - and I say this as a friend - most remakes at least have the bald tenacity to call themselves what they are. Total Recall, Robocop, Elm Street, Fright Night, - all anemic and painful remakes trading on a brand name for a quick buck while exercising contempt for the very audience it's aiming at. So when someone said hey, let's remake The Untouchables, they should have at least had the balls to call it that. Especially when this one's actually bloody good! Oh well.
Public Enemies - September 2013
Public Enemies - you're dull. How can you squander a cast that includes Depp, Bale, Batman's sort of french girlfriend, the weird villainy guy from History of Violence, Giobani Ribisi, that guy from Dazed and Confused who tried to avoid typecasting by joining CSI Miami only to end up typecast as that character ( except in right at your door which is awesome ), and Stephen Dorff? You look like shite, you creep along boringly until your dull ending, you just faff around wishing you were Lawless. But you're not. You're NOT Lawless, Public Enemies. You're that Indiana Jones movie those kids made on their camcorders.
Sometimes I can be quite cruel. In Michael Mann's case I'm never cruel enough. Like David Lynch, this was a director who was a master of visual form, creating lush and striking visuals for film such as "Heat," but who picked up greasy-looking digital cameras and turned amature. Shame.
Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - October 2013
Dear David Fincher's Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - why do you dress the way you do? Are there deeper underlying psychological reasons for your overt slickness and by the numbers grim rainy visage? For your plinky plonky vacuous "creepy" NIN score? Do you dress the way you dress because you believe it makes you seem unique and unusual?That it allows you to stand out in the crowd and declare : "I AM ME! And if you have a problem with it, that's YOUR problem." Probably. But I think you just know how empty and shallow and pointless you are. It's sad really, and I would suggest you speak to someone about your deeper mysoginistic problems. If you had any depth. You may go now.
I love Fincher's style, he's one of my favourite film makers but there's just something terribly pompous about him, and especially in this movie. He's far more interested in Daniel Craig than anything else going on, and uses very quick editing techniques when shooting the otherwise excellent Rooney Mara either because he wants to emulate a person afraid to look at her ( which is dumb - look at her, she's fucking striking looking ) or is unsure of whether her look actually works. The film is glossy and pulls a lot of punches, afraid to hint at a sequel so trying to close it off without really succeeding. The rape scene is brutally unpleasant, and contextually unnecessarily so. It's a good movie but, not good enough to justify its own existence. And you kind of get the impression Fincher knows it.
World War Z - October 2013
Well. World War Z. So the book had a faux political satire of a skeleton on which to hang some gory muscle and splatter. The movie has neither; it just sort of floats along doing very little as inexplicitly as it can, while focussing on Brad Pitt doing that squinty lemon thing as hoards of CGI pixels run around a lot shrieking like raptors in heat. And yet - YET mind you - I still enjoyed it. Maybe it's friday, maybe it's wine. But I enjoyed it. One thing though - the whole point of zombies is to be a terrifying mirror image of "us" - so that every time we destroy one we feel it. When they're just swarms of featureless creatures you remove all humanity and emotion from the equation, and render the use of zombies as pointless. Crap plot, too, by the way - but that's the books fault. The book was crap, incidentally. Ooh, Transformers 2 is on!
Midnight in Paris – November 2013
Dear Woody Allen - just watched Midnight in Paris. Delightful. Just delightful, all those great characters from the past meeting Owen Wilson of Shanghai Knights fame and introducing themselves to him by their full names so we the audience can know who they are. Classic conceipt. Just like that sitcom starring Rodney from Only Fools and Horses, you know the one where he lives between modern days and World War 2.
Couple of observations though, just a few bits and pieces - I know you probably see yourself as the Owen Wilson character, with the whole leaving his cunt-wife for a seventeen year old girl thing, but the truth is you are in fact the hateful know-all, lecture-spouting obnoxicator played by that David Frost impersonator ( did you know he was English? Is that why he's the bad guy ? ) Why are all the women in your films so bitchy and hateful? Why is EVERYONE in your films so hateful? Except the seventeen year old girls who end up with the aged protagonist at the end. Why have you made me hate every classic author of the twenties by making them all seem conceited, ugly, self-absorbed, and nasty. Is that because YOU are, and that's how you see everyone else? I guess you have to be a little on the defence given your history.
Anyway, great movie - just delightful. Except, you know, the characters. And the writing. And the awful jazz score. And your hate for everyone around you.
The World's End – November 2013
The World's End : what the hell was everyone complaining about? It's not Shaun of the Dead? A fitting end to the Cornetto trilogy, funny, sad, ridiculously silly and with an over-the-top, really, really utterly shite ending, what more do you want? Okay so it's sort of a best of Spaced, it completely squanders the talents of it's excellent male cast, let alone pootling the usually excellent Rosamind Pike in a disgracefully underwritten cypher-girl role, the self-referencing becomes a little smug, and Edgar Wright is still one of the worst directors on the planet - but even with all that against it, it's pretty god damn good. Certainly better than This is the End! Stop complaining and enjoy!
The Impossible – December 2013
So here I am watching Tsunami Titanic rip-off The Impossible - starring possibly the most uncomfortable Naomi Watts nipple reveal EVER. A strange movie - one of the most strikingly shot worst scripts ever written based on real events the film manages to make seem completely unbelievable and seemingly sponsored by Coca Cola - a company happy to sponsor a movie about white folks struck by a Tsunami, while seemingly unwilling to spend money on helping those poor foreign folk that actually lived through it. Yay Hollywood! Yay thirst quencher ( and nazi business partners - see Fanta's history for more ) Coca Cola. Still, at least they're using real water. And a real Naomi Watts nipple.
Breaking Bad - Dec 2013
Tazer's BREAKING BAD Diary - season 2. Okay, so I LOVE chowder. Aside from Lasagne, Chowder is my favourite meal. The best I ever had was in San Francisco, eaten from a sour dough bowl. Most chowders I taste I hope for the best, while expecting the worst, especially based on that one, perfect chowder I had.
Cully and Scully do a Chowder. It costs €2.59 in Tescos. It's cheap and bland and each packet contains basically the same dull, overcooked ingredients, package after package, most of which are what you expect, sometimes with a little more, sometimes a little less, but never enough to really satisfy until the last sip makes one think the next one might taste a little better. It's homogenised, created for a mass consumer who - having tasted most of Cully and Scully's other, similar soups - sort of want something new but essentially the same. There's an idea that Chowder is all about the fish, so Cully and Scully hint at the fish from time to time without really understanding what Fish is supposed to taste like; but that's not really what Cully and Scully's Chowder is about. That's just the hook, if you will.
It's about easy, inoffensive mass consumption. Even as one is eating Cully and Scully's Chowder, one is thinking about that Chowder in San Francisco, almost zoning out as the bland syrup slips past the taste buds almost un-noticed. It just reminds one of a better Chowder, appreciated in a different time, when Chowder wasn't so readily available or talked about.
Breaking Bad season two then. There's a shot in episode 5 that's pretty cool. It's of a stick insect. I kinda liked that bit.
till season three then
Needless to say I detested Breaking Bad, partly for the hype surrounding it as the best thing since sliced bread, and partly because it was a genuinely terrible program that became distressingly popular amongst the TV hipsters. Not badly made, not badly acted, just really, really stupid, inconsistent, dull, and hilariously ignorant of reality. By the last season it was head-throbbingly thick, gave the impression that - like Lost - the showrunners had kind of forgotten the point they were trying to make, and were just making this shit up on the fly. Jessie was good though.
So that's it for now, I'm compiling part two - which will encompass some of the longer reviews from Jan 2014 onwards, and should be posting it in the next few days.
In the meantime, hope you've had a chuckle and or an angry response to the mini-reviews above.
From this point on, the bile flows slower and more freely!
Till part two...