Friday, February 24, 2017

Stuff I Watched Since Last Time 👽💟

The title says it all.

Arrival:  Like I said on Facebook, a lot of movies don't really hold my interest.  You know, after a half hour or so I get on my phone to check Facebook and Twitter and stuff.  I did once or twice early on but the rest of the time I actually watched the movie because I wanted to try to figure out what was going on.  Like Independence Day, a bunch of alien ships show up and park over parts of the Earth, though not really major cities and they seemingly have no ill intent.  Amy Adams is a linguist who signs up to visit the "heptapods" (called that for their seven feet) and try to decipher their language.  Interspersed with this are flashes to a child of hers who ends up dying as a teenager from a rare disease.  The two things are connected and it's pretty simple:  all you have to do is figure out the timing of those flashes.  The way they're presented makes it seem like they're flashbacks, but (spoiler) they aren't.  It's all sort of like Dr. Manhattan in Watchmen, which probably does most people no good whatsoever.  Anyway, Adams gives a very good low-key performance and Jeremy Renner is at least passable as a fellow scientist.  If you like sci-fi that isn't too hard or too space opera-y then this is a good choice. (4/5)  (Fun Fact: In part thanks to this movie, director Denis Villaneuve got to replace Ridley Scott in the director's chair for the Blade Runner sequel.)

The Girl on the Train:  I haven't read the book people were all ga-ga about a couple years ago, which of course had to be turned into a movie.  This movie is decent.  There are enough twists and turns to keep you guessing even if the whole "husband having an affair with the au pair" thing is cliche.  Emily Blunt is the eponymous "girl" who used to live in a small town but now passes through it on a train to New York.  She sees a young woman kissing someone who isn't her husband.  Later that woman goes missing and then is found dead and the "girl" has to try search her alcohol-fogged memory to figure things out.  A little slow but otherwise not bad. (3/5)  (Fun Fact:  This follows the pattern of "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" and "Gone Girl" of mystery thrillers about "girls.")

Swiss Army Man:  Hank (Paul Dano) is lost in a California forest.  About to hang himself, he sees a corpse (Daniel Radcliffe) wash up on the shore.  The body seems to come to life and develops superpowers like being able to spit rocks like a machine gun or fart like a jet engine.  And when aroused the corpse's penis points the way to civilization, so Hank pretends to be a girl on the screen of a phone and they reenact a whole love affair by making a fake bus, fake movie theater, and fake cafe.  As you might have guessed, it's a pretty weird movie but it's also hilarious--unless you don't like jokes about poop and farts.  That's why I couldn't imagine it getting any awards show love despite that both actors are terrific.  Really, isn't it time Paul Dano got a more high-profile gig? (4/5) (Fun Fact:  This movie's posters and such list the director as "Daniels" because it's directed by two guys named Daniel, neither of whom has the surname Radcliffe.)

The Last Shark:  This Italian-made mockbuster of Jaws from the late 70s (or early 80s) is pretty lame, but still better than Sharknado.  Like that much better movie, a great white shark terrorizes a small town, only this is during their wind surfing regatta--because that's a thing.  It's only about 90 minutes but seems about twice that as stupid people keep trying to lure the shark with meat and then unsuccessfully killing it until of course someone does.  When the shark blows up it's so incredibly cheesy.  People say how much better "practical effects" are vs CGI but practical effects like these are much worse than the corny CGI in Sharknado.  I mean, you can so tell it's a model and other times you can tell they're using stock footage or a miniature shark in a tub or something.  Even the Rifftrax crew could not make this overly interesting. (1/5)

Nightmare at Noon:  An Albino and henchmen from the government agency APE poison a small town's water supply for...reasons.  The poison makes people bleed green and turn super-aggressive.  A hitchhiker, whiny out of town lawyer, and frail George Kennedy awkwardly do battle against the poisoned people and henchmen.  Most of it makes absolutely no sense, starting with the title because really nothing seems to happen at noon.  The end gave me deja vu so I might have seen it before late at night or something, but this was another Rifftrax title.  (2/5)  (Fun Fact:  The soundtrack was co-created by Hans Zimmer, the guy who's done like every big movie soundtrack for the last 17 years.  I guess we all have to start somewhere, right?)  (Fun Speculation:  You think Rick Snyder watched this and thought it'd be a great idea to use on the people of Flint?)

Beast of the Yellow Moon:  Somewhere in Southeast Asia a dead guy gets a new life thanks to a chubby demon and then sometimes the guy turns into a really crappy-looking sorta werewolf, sorta gray Incredible Hulk thing and kills people for no reason.  Or whatever.  This nonsensical plot is spiced up by the Rifftrax crew. (2/5)

Swamp of the Ravens:  A movie so bad they couldn't even get actual ravens for the swamp!  The birds in the swamp are buzzards, not ravens.  I mean come on, I've seen Game of Thrones; I know what a raven looks like.  Anyway, there's some weird Frankenstein wanna-be who keeps trying to bring people back and throwing them in the swamp.  Completely unwatchable if not for the Rifftrax crew. (2/5)

Supersonic Man:  This late 70s movie from...Spain?  Italy?  Brazil?...whatever is a mockbuster of Superman, though it has more in common with Flash Gordon or that really lame 70s Captain America movie. The Wonder Woman and Incredible Hulk TV shows look like The Dark Knight compared to this cheesy production featuring a superhero whose main power seems to be not being able to lower his arms to his sides.  There's even one of those 50s-era boxy automatons to menace the hero, whose catch phrase is "May the force of the galaxies be with me."  Hmmm, I seem to have heard that somewhere before.  The bad guy looks like he stole William Shatner's toupe.  It was all hilariously bad thanks to the Rifftrax treatment.  (2/5)

Prisoners of the Lost Universe:  The recently deceased Richard Hatch of Battlestar Galactica fame starred in this much-less successful film about a mad scientist and two hapless strangers who are beamed to a parallel dimension sort of like Narnia, only without the Christianity or any wit or charm. It's one of those movies that can't make up its mind if it wants to be serious or a farce, alternating between brutal near-rape scenes and cartoon sound effects.  It would probably be better if all copies of this were prisoners in a lost universe.  This was of course another Rifftrax covered movie. (2/5)

Wonder Women:  This has nothing to do with the DC Comics character.  It's an extremely cheap and corny movie from 1973 where an evil mad scientist (a female one, yay equality!) and her army of hot chicks kidnaps a bunch of athletes for brain transplant experiments, an extremely lame secret agent is sent in to stop them.  Featuring some of the most terrible fight choreography, the most boring car chase ever, and gobs of casual sexism, this is like an Austin Powers movie only unintentionally campy and idiotic..  But at least there are some boobs--and not just the Rifftrax guys making jokes. Boom! (2.5/5)

Octopussy:  Sadly this was not a Rifftrax movie.  I hadn't watched the Roger Moore Bond films; sometimes they would be on Amazon Prime and then they'd disappear, but now they reappeared so I watched one.  Ugh, it's so cheesy.  Most of the dialogue is lame puns and Roger Moore looks so old that you can see why this was the penultimate one featuring him--at least I think it was.  Anyway, it drones on for about 2 freaking hours.  (1/5)

1 comment:

  1. I can't say I've seen any of them. But I was actually interested in Arrival...



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