Like all art, opinions on The LEGO Movie are entirely subjective. The thing is, almost everyone seems to think it’s a great movie while there are few detractors. Rhett Bartlett (Dial M for Movies) called it "one of the great film disappointments of this decade." That’s going too far for me – my opinion falls closer to the middle of the spectrum. Read the rest of this entry
After the disaster that is known as Batman and Robin, it seemed like it was time to let the Batman movie franchise die… at least for a while. Then suddenly, Christian Bale and Christopher Nolan brought us Batman Begins, and nothing would ever be the same.
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There’s something about this trailer that didn’t inspire me to see Oblivion in the theater. (Given its visual quality, I wish I had!) It looks like your run of the mill last man on earth sorta thing, but there’s a bit more to it than that – as the trailer shows you. After watching the flick, I found that it wasn’t what I was expecting, but the movie still comes up short. Here are 3 points on Oblivion. Read the rest of this entry
I can’t think of a crazier idea than making a sequel (or prequel) to a movie where the actor in the title role doesn’t return for the next film in the series. Why would you even make the movie, and who’d want to see a movie like that anyway? Judging by the grosses, nobody.
Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Llyod
This piece of crap stars (and I use that term loosely) Derek Richardson, Eric Christian Olsen and Eugene Levy, during his ill-advised teen comedy phase. This piece of crap cost $19 million, but it brought in over $39 million, so it made money for its investors, but considering the original cost $17 million and made $247,275,104, it’s easy to see how far the apple fell from the tree.
Son of the Mask
See, I didn’t think the first Mask was very good, and this is going back to when I saw it in the theater when I was twelve or whatever. This movie also begs the question, who in the hell would want to see a movie starring Jamie Kennedy and Alan Cumming? Nobody, that’s who. This flaming pile of excrement rang up a total of $84 million and earned only $57 million. The original only cost $23 million and earned $351 million; I guess those animated effects in the first one were much cheaper than the digital effects in the sequel. You can’t feel bad for anybody who lost money on this one; what were they thinking?
Only the most unusual set of circumstances and coincidences brought me to the theater to see Evan Almighty, which wasn’t that bad, actually… except there was no Jim Carey. Not a cameo, no nothing. However, we did get Steve Carell, Morgan Freeman, John Goodman, Lauren Graham, Wanda Sykes, John Michael Higgins and Jonah Hill to round out the cast, so not too shabby. It’s watchable, I’ll say that much for it. However, this movie cost a fortune – a ton of digital effects… I don’t know what they were thinking. The movie costs $200 million to make – did they really think they had a chance in heave or hell to make that back? Gross revenue checks in at $173,418,781 – swing and a miss. Meanwhile, Bruce Almighty costed $81 million and earned $484 million.
Ace Ventura Jr.
I can’t find any revenue numbers on this plane laden with rubber dog shit out of Hong Kong because it made its debut on Cartoon Network, during which I sat through five random minutes of the film and almost immediately lost my lunch. Just because a TV show or a movie is made for kids doesn’t mean it has to be the worst thing ever written. You’d assume that this project was aimed at a theatrical release with the idea being that people who saw the original Ace Venture movies would take their kids to see this movie, but it was such a volcanic eruption of manure that they hid the damn thing on Cartoon Network – and that reminds me, the opening sequence of the first Ace Venture features Ace stealing a woman’s dog from her ex boyfriend and returning it to the dog’s owner, who, instead of rewarding him with a cash payment, pleasures him… to hilarious results, I guess.
So what did we learn here? If you’re making a sequel to a Jim Carey movie, you should probably try to your damnedest to retain Jim Carey to star in the movie. If you can’t, it seems like it would be a HUGE MISTAKE to double the budget of the original movie. You end up with a movie that has no star power and a poorly written script that just rehashes a bunch of crap the audience has already seen and probably didn’t think was that great in the first place.
You know, like when Jim Carey made Yes Man, which was an awful lot like Liar, Liar.
Given that I never got around to writing about RED when I saw it in theaters, now seems like the right time to get back to it, given that it came out on DVD last week – January 25, to be exact.
Yeah, I saw RED in theaters, if you can believe it – and we had to sit all the way up front as it was a full house. No, we weren’t late, the place was just blowin’ up with peeps. Any why? A star studded cast and a fine looking trailer looked like we were getting set for a comedic romp through shoot ’em up and blow ’em to hell country.
Well, it didn’t exactly go down like that, did it? The movie starts off in promising fashion: Bruce Willis, a retired CIA black ops agent is bored living alone in his house, so for amusement, he tears up his pension checks and calls the customer service line so he can chat with Mary-Louise Parker (frankly, I hear that), who is also bored to distraction at her job. This section of the movie is light and fun – I believe these characters exist and behave as represented – it’s really well done.
It’s pretty much all down hill from here.
Rather than summarizing the movie, suffice it to say that once the budding romance section is over, we enter the things start blowing up section of the movie. Now I love it when things blow up, but it has to be done better that it was in RED. The movie doesn’t get boring, but you start to care less about the characters. We slowly meet the rest of cast as the film plods along: John Malkovich, Helen Mirren, Morgan Freeman, Karl Urban – hell, they even sneak Richard Dreyfuss and Ernest Borgnine into the damn movie! But all this does is keep you in your seat and your eyes front; it doesn’t draw you into the movie, it just keeps the damn thing on life support.
The movie makes weird choices – sometimes, people are around and they notice the insane comic book violence (which is fine – the movie is based off a comic book mini series of the same name), but other times, they don’t – like when Bruce Willis’s house gets shot to shit in the beginning of the movie, there isn’t so much as a whisper from his neighbors – or the cops, for that matter. But other times, there are screaming ensembles heading for the exits… now mind you, this isn’t what’s wrong with the movie, but more of a microcosmic example of a movie that doesn’t know what it is. Is it a comedy? A comic book movie? An action movie? A romance? It’s can’t make up its mind, and it doesn’t do any of them well. But it has wonderful moments, and the first twenty minutes is great. Oh, and any time Helen Mirren is on the screen, things are going well – there’s something about her in a dress firing high caliber automatic machine guns that just does it for me. (Remembering, of course, that they’re Retired. Extremely. Dangerous. They’re RED. Riiiiiiiiiight.)
If you love comic book movies, then you’ll want to see RED. If not, you might want to skip it all together – it’s a really tough call. For all it’s problems, it’s a likable movie and therefor gets my Coors Light recommendation: if it’s there and there is nothing else to drink, then pound it. At 111 minutes, it’s running a little long, and I could have done without that little vignette at the end; no one should ever have to see John Malkovich in drag – that was cruel… yet not unusual. (See Being John Malkovich!)