Friday, August 1, 2014

Movie Round-Up 8/1/14

Some more movie reviews you probably don't care about.

Timeline:  I read the book version of this when it first came out about 15 years ago.  I remember thinking it would make a good movie.  This was both a compliment and insult as the ending had a little more punch than many of Crichton's earlier works, but at the same time it fell more into cliches.  Such is the case with the movie as well, which strangely I never got around to watching until now.  Basically what happens is some scientists are trying to teleport stuff and find a wormhole to 1357 France.  Then they lose some guys there and send some archaeologists to rescue them, sort of like Jurassic Park if they had traveled to dinosaur times.  From there it's kind of predictable and cliche, but there are some nice medieval battle scenes.  I'm not sure if this counts as the secret origin of Gerard Butler or not, but it's probably one of the first big American movies he was featured in.  It also features the late Paul Walker, though I think this was post Fast & Furious.  (2.5/5)

Beowulf:  This was the 2007 version that uses that Robert Zemeckis animation like "Polar Express."  It occurred to me that for Zemeckis it's like my Sims 3 characters; he thinks it's awesome and everyone else just thinks it's fucking creepy.  I mean these people who look almost real, but not quite real.  It's weird.  So that gives this movie points off going in.  Then basically the movie just makes Beowulf seem like a complete ass.  He runs around fighting Grendel naked and shouting, "I am Beowulf!"  And then doesn't kill Grendel's mommy so he can be king, which he realizes eventually sucks.  And Grendel's mommy is an especially creepy Anjelina Jolie who's sort of naked, but covered from the neck down in gold and has built in stiletto heels.  It's hard to believe Neil Gaiman wrote and executive produced this.  Well, they can't all be winners. (2/5) "The 13th Warrior" is still my Beowulf movie of choice.

Down in the Valley:  It's like Last Action Hero or Pleasantville only with porno movies!  Chris Pratt and some other guy are beamed into an alternate universe where all the women are busty bimbos and the guys are super hung.  It sounds like it should be awesome, but it's complicated by a dominatrix cop and a super hung male cop who keep chasing them for barely defined reasons.  It was pretty funny at poking fun of porno movie tropes, though like many pornos it could have used some better production values. (3/5)

All Cheerleaders Die:  This seemed like the kind of silly movie I'd watch late on Friday or Saturday (see above) but unfortunately the stupid USPS didn't get it to me until Monday.  Anyway from the title it seems like it's a slasher movie where someone is killing cheerleaders.  In actuality it's Pet Semetery--Cheerleader Edition.  Basically some cheerleaders die when some jerk football players run them off the road.  But one cheerleader has a stalkery friend into Wicca and using magic crystals she brings them back to life as flesh-eating ghouls.  And for some reason two sisters switch bodies.  And then mayhem ensues.  It was, to say the least, pretty odd, even for me. (1.5/5)

The Baytown Outlaws:  It's basically The Boondock Saints meets Smokin Aces.  If you've never seen either of those movies it's about redneck brothers who work as sort of  hired muscle for the local sheriff in an Alabama town (actually Louisiana).  After they kill a bunch of Mexicans in what turns out to be the wrong house, a woman shows up offering them $25,000.  They take the job to get her godson from evil crime lord Carlos (Billy Bob Thornton cashing a paycheck) except there's a hitch:  the kid is in a wheelchair!  They then end up getting chased by colorful outlaws:  killer hookers, black pirates, and Native American bikers.  And in the process the rednecks learn about tolerance, except for gays and most women.  It's a serviceable action movie overall, but it's a shame they couldn't find Billy Bob Thornton more to do than be the stereotypical bad guy.  He does have one great rant comparing his crime organization to Wal-Mart but from recently watching the "Fargo" series you know he can be way more badass. (2.5/5)


  1. I remember Beowulf being kinda strange, especially the ending with his Dragon son.
    Baytown, Tx is near where I grew up...I think the rednecks in Baytown, TX would get along with the movie.

  2. Beowulf's the only one I heard of, and you killed any lingering plans I had to see it.

    Re: Zemeckis' people? Read about "the uncanny valley." It's why we hate them so much except nobody can explain it.

  3. I have seen Beuwolf. Kinda forgettable. Not as horrific as Polar Express IMO. But still zombie like characters. I kept waiting for somebody to eat a brain.

  4. I'm not sure if Butler was in one of the Tomb Raider movies before or after. But he shares that hidden distinction with Daniel Craig.



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