I watch a disgustingly large amount of movies. Far too many to review here, at least without taking precious time away from watching disgustingly large amounts of movies. So why not do a weekly breakdown of what's coming out on DVD/Bluray and what's worth watching? I guess the fact that renting DVD's may not be a thing anymore. That's probably a good reason not to do it. But here we are anyway! Read on!
June 4th Releases
Every year there’s at least one movie that makes gobs of cash and nobody can figure out why. Identity Thief seems destined to be that movie for 2013. Critics didn’t like it, audiences didn’t like it, word of mouth was bad, and yet it made like, all the money. Frankly I’m with the majority here - this one ain’t too good. First of all it’s way too long (it’s 2 hours and it really feels like it too) and seems to forget it’s a comedy for long stretches, with the jokes it does tell mostly coming down to “oh shit Melissa McCarthy fell down!” She also punches people in the throat no less than 5 times. There’s a couple of funny lines that are clearly improvised, but for the most part the humour is bland and falls flat.
The worst though is that after spending the first half of the movie making us hate McCarthy’s character by having her just completely destroy this poor guy’s life and feel no remorse about any of it, it then asks “but don’t you feel bad for her? Aw poor thing, Jason Bateman is being mean to her!” No movie, I don’t feel bad for her!! What are you doing?! The final half hour is almost pure sap that feels completely unearned. I went in not expecting much from this, and it met those expectations handily.
A Good Day To Die Hard
I wrote a full review for this (http://www.totalactionadventure.com/content/movie-review-good-day-die-hard) so there’s not a whole lot more to say other than don’t watch this if you want another solid Die Hard movie. If you want a decent but forgettable action movie then sure. Just pretend it’s actually called “Bulletfire” or something and you can have an ok time with this. The Bluray does contain an extended cut of the movie, which I haven’t seen but unless extended cut is code for “we went and shot a completely different movie”, I’ll assume it doesn’t improve it much. At the very least, this should work as a fantastic demo of your sound system cuz this fucker is looooouuuuud.
If I had to choose one movie this week, and I’ve decided that I do, this is the one. Everytime you think zombies are done and there are no stories left to tell, something like this comes along. A zombie love story does sound a little dopey but trust me they make it work here. The cast is excellent, it’s funny, and best of all it’s just so god damn joyful. You’re so happy watching this movie. I just wanted to hug people when it’s over. I drank beer instead, not sure what that says about me, but I drank it while real happy at least. Never would have expected a zombie movie to be the ultimate pick-me-up, but here we are.
Week of June 11
Oz The Great and Powerful
Prequels are an odd beast. It’s a story where, for the most part, you know exactly how things are going to end. It’s why I found it extra strange when they started talking about doing a sequel to this movie since that sequel would just be The Wizard of Oz. So while I can’t say I cared about finding out how the Wizard became the Wizard, this was an entertaining movie! The visuals are fantastic and while the story is cliched (gee, will this asshole dude became an ok guy by the end), the humour and characters make the proceedings enjoyable. The cast is solid, with Michelle Williams as the good witch being the stand-out for me because the actress just radiates happiness. Mila Kunis may be the weak spot, which was a surprise since I expected Zach Braff to fill that slot but the dude is actually quite funny here. Probably worth watching for the rare oppurtunity to not want to smack Zach Braff in the mouth.
Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters
I don’t want to blow your mind or anything, but this movie is kinda dumb. Thankfully it’s fun dumb, embracing it’s ridiculous concept and just fucking running with it. As interesting as it might have been for them to play this completely straight (ala Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter), I’m ok with this approach as a slice of goofy, disposable, fun. The plot is ridiculously predictable but the relentless pace of the movie, as well as the admirable decision to make it R-rated, helps make up for some of that. It also runs a quick 80 minutes without credits so it’s over before you know it. This will either be a blast to watch, or the worst fucking thing you’ve ever seen. For my wife and I it was the former so I would recommend at least giving it a shot.
Love me some Dwayne Johnson. As much as he seems to occasionally not want me to like him (Tooth Fairy, Journey 2, Race to Witch Mountain), I love a good helping of The Rundown, Walking Tall, and the recent Fast and Furious movies. Snitch is different in that it really allows Johnson to act and play a character as it is far more a thriller than an action movie. There’s a couple shoot-outs and an impressive, though short, truck chase but for the most part it’s more character and story driven. It’s not the most original plot by any means, with Johnson going undercover to get dirt on drug runners in order to get his son, who is serving 10 years for trafficing as the result of a fairly innocent fuck-up, out of jail. They wring some solid tension out of the idea though and Johnson is easy to root for in the lead. It’s a solid thriller that is easily worth a watch.
Right, pick of the week. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm....maybe Oz? Unless you can find a copy of Street Trash, then get that. Dude’s penis melts off, it’s a classic.