Wednesday, September 25, 2013

September Recap

If you want a lot of views I guess just mention a whole bunch of Fortune 500 companies in your post.  Woo, selling out!!!!  Here's what
was popular this month:
  1. Everyday Heroes

  2. Temporary Anne Cover Reveal

  3. My post on formatting paperbacks (I have 15 paperbacks for sale now...just sayin')

And now for the list of stuff I watched but am too lazy to write much of a review about.

Killer Joe:  Matthew McConaghuey is a dirty cop in Dallas who kills people for money.  Not much is made of that.  It's more about this redneck family who hires him to kill the former matriarch of the clan who has a $50,000 insurance policy.  Since the rednecks have no money they give him their spacey daughter as a "retainer" (ie sex slave).  I watched the unrated version (I guess it was originally NC-17) which features a woman's privates and some mild gore.  It was OK but there's a huge plot hole at the end involving the money.  (3/5)

Django Unchained:  Another blood-soaked history lesson from Quentin Tarantino.  I actually didn't mind this as much as the last one, in large part because it doesn't become completely absurd alternate history.  I mean at least Django doesn't free all the slaves or prevent the Civil War or anything asinine like that.  Though I'm sure there were quite a few historical inaccuracies.  (Early revolvers had 5 bullets, not six.  They sing a song mentioning peanut butter, which I'm pretty sure didn't exist in 1858.  I don't think they had repeating rifles either or else both sides probably wouldn't have been relying on muskets at the beginning.  Also it says it's 1858 and then "2 years before the Civil War."  Didn't the Civil War really start in 1861?  I guess you could say it started with the election of Lincoln but traditionally we say it went from 1861-1865.)  The last act was kind of annoying since it relies on the German guy doing something completely idiotic, which creates needless complications.  But I guess them simply paying for the girl and leaving would have been far less exciting than Django slaughtering like a hundred people. (3.5/5)

Zero Dark Thirty:  I suspect someday there will be a better movie about capturing bin Laden, but until then Zero Dark Thirty isn't too bad.  The first hour is mostly devoted to torturing some guy to get the name of bin Laden's courier but then thanks to those whiny Democrats shutting down our torturin' it takes seven years to find the guy and then bin Laden.  What annoys me is like many "fact-based" movies like "The Social Network" and "Moneyball" this plays kind of fast and loose with some facts.  For instance I read on Yahoo or HuffPo that there was actually like 3-4 women who worked together but they all end up being consolidated into Jessica Chastain.  (Not that I'd mind being consolidated into Jessica Chastain.)  Apparently she had no kind of personal life for 10 years of bin Laden hunting either.  Anyway, it was OK but not great.  (3.5/5)

Jack the Giant Slayer:  This movie might have been slightly better with some better effects.  As it was the effects were so lame I could hardly watch it.  I mean if you're going to make the giants all look like cartoons then why not just make the whole movie a cartoon?  It's the kind of movie too where you can just tell they were shooting a lot of it against a green screen.  The plot was largely predictable, so I just kind of tuned it out after a while. (2/5)

Parker:  This is basically "Payback" only with Jason Statham instead of Mel Gibson.  (Incidentally Mel Gibson's character was named Porter so there's another eerie similarity.  Oddly both are based off novels.)  He's a thief who rips off the Ohio state fair with a crew but then the crew turns on him and thinks he's dead.  Of course he's not so he swears vengeance.  The Jason Statham parts were fine, pretty much just your usual Jason Statham action movie fare.  The Jennifer Lopez parts seemed pretty pointless.  With what she actually contributes she could have just been in a couple of scenes.  Another part of the problem is Jason Statham has a loyal girlfriend named Claire, so there's really no romantic tension between him and J.Lo, which again has me questioning what the point of her was.  Especially since this movie sags in the middle and probably could have been a half-hour shorter at least.  But hell it's on Netflix Instant now so it's not like it cost me much.  (2.5/5)

Jack Reacher:  This movie was soooooo boring.  I don't think Tom Cruise has ever had less charisma, nor has his face ever looked so old; they ought to have hired someone better at the makeup.  At over 2 hours this was about an hour too long.  Even by the end I'm still not sure why Jack Reacher goes around living off the grid and beating up whoever he feels deserves it.  Is that his idea of living free?  I'd prefer to live freely somewhere that has a nice soft bed and more than one outfit from Goodwill.  Anyway, maybe Briane Pagel would know but it seems really unlikely you could have a DA be the father of a defense attorney on the case.  That seems like conflict of interest to me.  It had to be a bummer when this first came out since it features a shooting massacre and this was around the time of Newtown.  Of course thanks to our gun-obsessed culture there was conveniently another massacre just in time for me to watch this on DVD.  USA!  USA!  (2/5)

Numbers Station:  I forget who it was who blogged about it (Rusty?) but someone blogged about short wave stations that sporatically announce seemingly random numbers.  These are supposedly the codes that go to secret agents to give them the assisgnments.  Obviously Numbers Station focuses on a station that broadcasts these numbers.  When it gets compromised, only John Cusack and Malin Ackerman can save the day.  This was OK and unlike a couple movies above not too long, though I think they used the same writers and make-up people as Jack Reacher.  Really it suffers from not having a strong central villain. That sort of makes the action a bit of a letdown.  Still it's another on Netflix Instant so you're not out much. (3/5)

Midnight in Paris:  I'm not a big fan of Woody Allen movies.  This one is OK, but feels a little hacky.  I mean you can tell right away Owen Wilson's fiancee is a bitch who's all wrong for him.  The Twilight Zone did this same concept 50 years ago in a couple of episodes.  Seriously the message was the same and everything.  It's not terrible, just probably beneath Allen given his body of work.  Funny to think that back in 1920s Paris you couldn't swing a dead cat without hitting some famous writer, painter, or musician. (3/5)

Arbitrage:  It's an OK thriller about a 1%-er who's fudged his books and is now desperately trying to get someone to buy a chunk of his company.  It's complicated when he accidentally kills his mistress in a car accident.  It's probably about 15 minutes too long, one of those that feels like it's ended long before it actually ends.  Tim Roth does a pretty good Columbo impression as a rumpled, annoying detective.  (3/5)

When I was on vacation in Ludington the crappy motel I was staying in had their TVs bolted to the wall and they didn't have any outlets where I could plug in my portable DVD player.  To get around that I went to Wal-Mart and bought a Roku so I could watch stuff not on a 7" screen, which really sucks.  Anyway, when I got home I hooked up the Roku in my bedroom since I already have one in the living room (an HD one while the one I bought in Ludington was the cheapest SD model).  So lately I've been using that to watch crappy movies on weekend nights.  There are these free channels called Crackle and Popcornflix where you can watch largely terrible movies that are free, so long as you can withstand repetitive commercials every 10 minutes.  (Seriously on the Popcornflix one they show the same fucking commercial three fucking times IN A ROW!  After 90 minutes of that you've pretty much got it memorized.)  Since pretty much all the movies on these channels I've never heard of, I just scroll back and forth for a little bit and then stop at some random point and watch whatever it comes up with.  Here are the results of that experiment.

The Collectors:   So, two guys go to New York to collect on some debts for some mob guy.  It's a little fuzzy who they're working for or why.  I guess basically they're a homeless man's version of the guys from "Pulp Fiction."  There's one guy who owes like $250K they can't collect on so they decide to rob a bank or something.  Meanwhile a hot blonde detective is after them.  It started out with promise but got increasingly lame.  (2/5)

Choke:  Don't confuse this with the adaptation of the Chuck Pahlniuk novel directed by and co-starring Agent Coulson from the Avengers.  That was actually a decent movie.  This one, not so much.  Dennis Hopper plays a dad who gets pissed at some guy dating his daughter and loudly says over the phone and in person that he's going to kill the SOB...and then proceeds to strangle him to death.  He chucks him out a window by some bushes.  His bright idea to hide the corpse is to run over to a grocery store and shoplift a garbage bag to put over like half the body.  His antics are seen by Michael Madsen, who shows up to help dispose of the body.  They elude some cops...and then I fell asleep.  In hindsight I think that was for the best.  (1/5)

Cougar Hunting:  This promised to be a raunchy comedy as three teenage doofuses head to Aspen to find some "cougars" (old women with money who date younger guys).  It disappointed though in that the only woman to get naked was the least attractive in the cast.  With a name like "Cougar Hunting" I'm expecting some nudity and sex, damn it!  The rest was boring and predictable with terrible acting and production values.  The only compliment I can give is I somehow stayed awake. (1/5)

Midnight Movie:  This is basically like an evil "Last Action Hero."  There's some kind of evil movie that ends up at some shitty theater in some shitty little town.  And somehow it sucks all these kids working at the theater into it, where they start to get hunted by this slasher with a skull mask...and then I fell asleep.  I woke up to see the end and find out who lived, which was only half-predictable.  By that I mean I knew one person would live but the other person I thought might live did not.  Anyway, a horror movie that puts you to sleep is not very good. (1/5)

Trojan War:  This either came out 10 years too late or 10 years too early.  Since it came out in 1996 it was really too late for the John Hughes era and too early for the Judd Apatow era.  It would have been more at home in the Hughes era with knock-offs like "Adventures in Babysitting" but since it's about a kid trying to get laid it could have fit the Apatow mold with a little more raunchy humor.  Anyway, it's all about a kid's quest to find a condom so he can fuck the head cheerleader while we all know he should be banging the tomboyish Jennifer Love-Hewitt.  Now if it were the Jennifer Love-Hewitt from "Ghost Whisperer" with those DD breasts I imagine that wouldn't have been a decision. (3/5)

Godzilla:  Final Wars:  This was intended to be sort of an homage for Godzilla's 50th anniversary.  I tried really, really hard to stay awake for the monster fights, but couldn't manage it.  Way too much time wasted on boring humans.  They should realize we only see Godzilla movies to see him fight giant monsters.  It's like a porno that tries to have a plot or a slasher movie that tries to interest us in the characters to be slaughtered. I put it on the next day and fast forwarded it to see what I missed.  Basically when Earth is invaded by a bunch of Japanese emo fans humans unleash Godzilla from a block of ice to save the day.  Which he does by beating down a bunch of giant monsters.  It's funny how quickly he deals with the 1998 American Godzilla, basically a whack from the tail and then incinerating him with his lightning breath.  I'm sure that was intentional as an f-you to Roland Emmerich.  It all ends with him battling a Robot Chicken with chainsaw arms and a three-headed dragon.  (2.5/5)


  1. In Midnight in Paris it was nice to see how all the cool artistic people would interact.
    I hope the new Godzilla movie is better than the last installment hollywood threw at us.

  2. Yeah, you really know how to rack in the traffic.

  3. That's a lot of movies. I didn't see Jack the Giant Slayer because of the terrible reviews which is too bad because I thought it might be good.

  4. You should do a total product placement post Pat. Just do a whole post on how amazing Disneyland is. I'll play along in the comments. "Well I wasn't going to go there, but your post convinced me to go!"

    I enjoyed Jack the Giant Killer purely for the visuals and not the sucky plot. Reacher was just awful

  5. I saw a couple of those movies, I totally am with you about Jack Reacher. I was so bored. It should have been better.

  6. As you would imagine, I'm a huge Midnight in Paris fan, as well as Django Unchained (the "German guy" does "something stupid" because at that point it was about honor and he couldn't spend another moment listening to stupid lunacy from Leonardo DiCaprio).

  7. Man, you really went to town in this post. So many catch phrases and memorable lines.

    My cover was one of your top three? That bodes ill for your stats. I only have two regular readers, plus sometimes Sweetie sees when I post Scarlett Johannsen pics and then gets mad at me.

    I thought the thing in Django was that one Leonardo realized that Django wanted his wife back, he wasn't going to sell her so they had to kill him. Or am I wrong? Anyway, I really liked the movie, despite all the blood. Or I did, until I knew they wouldn't have had six shots. Thanks for ruining it for me.



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