Friday, January 20, 2017

Stuff I Watched 1/20/17🎬

Not too much stuff I watched this week...

Star Wars:  Rogue One:  I finally got around to watching this.  It is a well-made and watchable movie but in the end there's still no reason for it to exist.  For me it's like if they made a prequel to Ronin to show you how the silver case MacGuffin came about.  I mean, who cares how the Rebels got the plans?  In the grand scheme of things it doesn't really add or detract from my enjoyment of the original Star Wars.  I was also hoping for more of an intricate Ocean's 11 scheme than a smash-and-grab. Anyway, like I said it's well-made and it's not boring, with just the barest amount of characterization necessary.  Honestly I didn't even know everyone's name.  What was the blind ninja and his buddy called?  I couldn't remember but I'm sure I could look it up.  The composer did a good job of imitating John Williams so it pretty much sounded like a Star Wars movie.  And Vader's scene at the end was pretty badass.    There are some dumb questions I'd like to ask:  why could the X-Wings blow up the AT-ATs so easily?  (And why didn't they then use X-Wings on Hoth?)  If the Rebels could fit the plans on a tiny disc, why didn't Jyn's father just give a disc of it to the pilot?  When did Vader get a castle and was it necessary to see him taking a bath? And just something completely random:  whenever Kinnec wore his little hat he reminded me of Jim Varney's Ernest character.  All that aside, I'd watch it again in the theater.  (3/5)

The Last Man on Earth:  This 1964 adaptation of Richard Matheson's I Am Legend is more faithful to the book than the Will Smith I Am Legend or the Charlton Heston Omega Man.  The point of the movie is that a disease has turned pretty much all but one guy into "vampires" that are more like the zombies that came later in that they just shamble around and beat on stuff trying to get into Vincent Price's house every night.  It's kind of slow and Vincent Price is miscast as the last guy on Earth.  The scenes where he has to interact with his family have absolutely no chemistry.  I mean, when you think "family man" Vincent Price isn't who springs to mind. (2/5)

Sicario:  An FBI agent (Emily Blunt) is drafted onto a team that is illegally going to go into Mexico to take out a couple of drug dealers.  Benicio del Toro is a sicario (or hitman) who is working for the Americans (temporarily) for his own reasons.  It's OK but felt a little slow.  And really Emily Blunt sucks at fighting.  She gets choked out by the new Punisher, shot by del Toro, and wrestled and almost choked out again by Josh Brolin.  She really needed that fighting suit from Edge of Tomorrow. (2.5/5)

Atlantic Rim:  The geniuses behind the Sharknado movies bring you this mockbuster of Pacific Rim.  A monster rises out of the Caribbean, but fortunately NASA for some reason has sophisticated giant robots on hand to fight it with.  (I can see NASA building robots, but I'm pretty sure they can't arm those robots.)  As you'd expect the plot is riddled with holes, the effects are terrible, the acting is wooden, and the attention to detail is nonexistent. An F/A-18 Hornet fighter attacks one of the monsters and the pilot keeps bragging about his .50 caliber machinegun.  Except Hornets don't have .50 caliber machineguns; they have a 20mm cannon.  And the pilot looks like he's in a helicopter, not a jet fighter.  For side shots they cut to stock footage and you can see the pilot has a different helmet.  A sub that's supposed to be in the Caribbean has a display centered in the Red Sea.  Navy personnel are wearing army uniforms.  An actress leaves a room in a pink blouse and gets into a helicopter wearing a blue blouse.  They use a "barometer" to measure pressure underwater when I'm pretty sure they're only used for measuring air pressure.  On and on.  Geez, doesn't "Thunder Levin" know how to look stuff up on Wikipedia? (0/5)

Friday the 13th Part 3:  Like Jaws 3, someone thought it'd be clever if Friday the 13th 3 were in 3D.  This was during that early 80s period when 3D was making a comeback.  And much like its next comeback in 2010, a lot of the movies made in 3D were pretty lame.  In this case we have the pretty standard "cabin in the woods" scenario where a bunch of dumb teenagers for reasons go to a cabin in the woods and are stalked and killed by Jason Voorheis except for one girl.  Only because it's 3D there are a lot of lame camera tricks and gags:  the credits do that old Superman movie thing, a guy putting up a clothesline moves the pole towards the camera, a snake jumps at the camera, a rat jumps at the camera, an eyeball is held towards the camera, a pitchfork is thrown at the camera, the camera angle is tilted so a yo-yo is coming at the camera, and so on.  It's so lame, especially when you're not watching it in 2D.  This movie is the the secret origin of Jason's iconic hockey mask, so there's that. (1/5) (Fun Fact:  Director Steve Miner went on to work with another silent serial killer about 15 years later in Halloween H20.)

Friday the 13th Part 4:  The crappy 3D tricks are left behind but otherwise it's largely the same story.  Kids go up to a cabin in the woods and Jason kills them.  The only difference is this time there's a family next door with a kid who makes monster masks and shit.  Overall pretty much the same old, same old, but one thing about the Friday the 13th franchise is at least there's usually some good nudity. (1/5)  (Fun Fact:  The movie stars a young Corey Feldman and Crispin Glover, who both went on to far more memorable roles in the 80s.)

Heist:  There are probably a thousand movies called Heist, but this one is from 2015 and is about a casino blackjack dealer whose daughter needs an operation and so he steals from his boss.  He and a couple guys get the money but then have to take hostages on a bus, so it goes from a heist movie to Speed.  There is a good twist at the end that helps to make it a little less blah. (2.5/5) (Fun Fact:  For a straight to Redbox movie this has a pretty decent cast:  Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Watchmen, Walking Dead, etc.) as the dealer, Dave Bautista (WWE, Guardians of the Galaxy) as his partner, Gina Carano (Deadpool, MMA) as a cop, Kate Bosworth (Blue Crush, Superman Returns) as a gangster's daughter, Mark Paul Gossett (Saved By the Bell) as a detective, Morris Chestnut (Rosewood, etc) as the gangster's right-hand man, and Robert de Niro as the gangster.  It's safe to say pretty much all those people have done better stuff.)

1 comment:

  1. I agree with your thoughts on Rogue One. The bummer for me was that everyone died in the end. But yeah, it was good enough to watch again and interesting in ways. I really enjoyed the end battle and Darth Vader's scene toward the end. That moment was set up so perfect.

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