Saturday, December 29, 2012

The Top 10 Awesomely Bad Movies I Reviewed of 2012

Man, I love bad movies! Not bad as in “this movie sucks” but bad as in “wow, this movie sucks but sucks on a level that I can easily make fun of it and amuse myself” (yes, I talk to myself in this exact manner when watching movies). I like those bad movies that you see and instantly picture Mike or Joel, Crow and Tom Servo lampooning the crap out of it on Mystery Science Theater 3000. Movies filled with terrible special effects and acting that’s even worse.

Usually, these movies come in the form of B-horror Direct-to-DVD films but, occasionally, there’s those that don’t deal with monster and blood that can be just as fun to make fun of. For example, The Room…if you’ve never seen the majesty that is Tommy Wiseau’s misguided attempt at making a torrid drama or have been to a midnight showing of it you must—this second—get to one. Find a town, right now, that has it playing at one of their cinemas and is simultaneously midnight there and teleport your ass there to experience all the “Oh hai” glory that is The Room.

2012 wasn’t a very good year for great bad movies as most that held the potential to be one was just so bad that if you were to make fun of it, it would constitute as a hate crime. Due to the severe lack of quality good bad movies, there is no Honorary Mention list and we’ll just get to the heart of the matter…

The Top 10 Awesomely Bad Movies I Reviewed of 2012

#10 – Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park

This is actually an older movie and one that I saw as a kid. However, I chose to revisit it for my blog and forgot how ungodly awful the film was. How bad? Like as bad as Kiss’ songs that WEREN’T played on the radio. Kiss, never one to miss an opportunity to put their shitty label on an equally shitty product, signed on to this movie without thinking twice and, from the joke of a final product that was produced, at no point did the film have a script. But you get to see Gene Simmons still pretending he’s some sort of a badass despite the fact there’s no evidence to support this theory other than the fact he’s really tall.

State of the art special effects that make Avatar look like a really shitty movie...basically,
it makes Avatar's special effects look like everything else in Avatar.

#9 – Apocalypse: Caught in the Eye of the Storm

This one came to me thanks to a request from a friend of mine and I will never stop thanking him for it. Apocalypse is a tale of the rapture and is one giant propaganda film about how Jesus is so awesome by showing how simple and stupid human beings can be as every character falls for every little thing that occurs throughout the film and are just bursting at the seams to worship something—anything! One point, I swear I saw someone worshipping an energy drink because it cured them of the sleepies. The production value is what you expect and the acting is just atrocious. However, it was surprising to see that Kirk Cameron was NOT in this film but a truly awful and offensive religious tune condemning mentally challenge people in the film’s soundtrack cements this as a great film to make fun of.

"This just in...this movie makes all those of faith look like mindless sheep who--oh, never mind."

#8 – Miss March

Miss March isn’t funny in the least—well, okay, I’ll admit it made me laugh twice but other than that, it’s just a sad attempt at seeing guys who are barely capable of writing 6 minute sketches write a feature length film. The film is about a guy tracking down his high school sweetheart who grew up and posed in Playboy. As if in a way to spit in the faces of the men who came to see the movie, you NEVER see the high school sweetheart’s goods—SHE NEVER GETS NUDE!!! It’s like they were intentionally fucking with you by not giving you a payoff and torturing you with a slew of unfunny gags and bad acting. However, it’s pretty damn easy to make fun of the guys who fail so utterly at trying to be funny.

"*Gasp* Who thought writing a movie would be so hard?"

#7 – Real Steel

Let’s not pull any punches here, this is Rock ‘em, Sock ‘em Robots: The Movie starring Wolverine. The special effects are cool and the concept of giant robots punching the shit out of people is enough to get a guy who hates sports (me) to actually watch a sport. But at the end of the credits, you can’t help but make fun of this movie because it’s ROCK ‘EM, SOCK ‘EM ROBOTS!!!!

Even robot fighting leagues aren't free from the douche bag attention whores.

#6 – Shark Night

When I first saw the trailer for this one, I half-expected this movie to be a slapstick dark comedy like Piranha 3D but, to my horror, it turns out that this movie was an actually attempt to be a real horror film. The emphasis here must be on “attempt.” The story is just ridiculous as it centers on some morons filling a saltwater-filled lake with sharks for profit purposes (yeah, you heard that correct) but add in some awful acting and very glaring false facts about sharks (mainly which ones are the actually dangerous ones) and you have yourself a great movie to make fun of.

Despite this shot, Shark Night still sucked.

#5 – Humans vs. Zombies

If you’re in need of a bad movie to laugh at all you need to do is find one with zombies in it. Since zombies have become the “it” pop culture icon, everyone and their mother is ready to throw zombies into poorly produced movies and throw them into haphazardly written novels and call it “entertainment.” Humans vs. Zombies is actually an adaptation of a LARPing game that is a glorified version of Freeze Tag and if that wasn’t enough reason to make fun of the movie, the film also contains a lack of zombies for a majority of the film, painfully dim-witted characters and extremely bad acting. The laughs never stop coming at this phoned in attempt at cashing in on the zombie craze.

Just be careful watching this movie.  This girl is NOT a zombie.  That's just a side-effect
from watching Humans vs. Zombies.

#4 – ThanksKilling

You have to hand it to this one because the filmmakers were obviously out to make crap with this one. It opens with a pointlessly topless pilgrim on the run from the evil turkey (played by a porn star and the possible reason why this film was so low budget) and then goes on a formulaic journey of cardboard cutout college kids getting picked off one by one by the B-movie monster who ensures to deliver some of the worst one-liners that have ever existed. This movie is truly awful but awful on such a magical level that it’s a blast to watch with friends and make fun of.

This alone is enough reason to have fun watching ThanksKilling.
That and its awful pun of a title.

#3 – Journey 2: The Mysterious Island

Why Journey to the Center of the Earth got a sequel is one of those mysteries that will never be solved but at least it offered up some entertainment. Despite the fact that Josh Hutcherson is doing his best to use his bad acting to ruin every project he’s in and the hope of all humanity for a better tomorrow, the movie offers up a few genuine laughs from Luis Guzman and The Rock…

However, for the most part, the film is kinda bad. But it’s within the bad parts that the true humor can be found—however, unintentional humor. Also you get to look Vanessa Hudgens rack for an hour and a half and since she’s now legal, that comment is substantially less creepy than it normally would be.

Josh Hutcherson using his mind-powers to make himself an even LESS convincing actor.

#2 – Final Destination 5

Okay, I’ll admit it: The Final Destination franchise is a guilty pleasure for me. The movies are absolutely terrible but it seems the producers know this so they go out of their way to make them super over-the-top terrible and silly that they become something fun to watch. The story is always stupid but we don’t watch these movies for the stories. We watch them for the often lame but always ridiculously hilarious Rube Goldberg device style death sequences the movie subjects us to.

"For the last time, this is NOT a comedy."

#1 – Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance

Yes, I gave this film a good score because it’s one of those rare awesomely bad movies that is just plain too awesome to be like any other great bad movie. Not only is this one of those instances where the sequel is better than the original, this is also the only instance where the entire film—the editing, the music, the story—perfectly matches the outright insanity of the film’s main star; Nicolas Cage. I said it in my review and I’ll say it here: It’s like Nic Cage cut him self open in the editing room and bled all over the film and infected it with what ever runs through his blood. Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance is one of those films that has to be seen to be believed and is also one of those few awesomely bad movies that doesn’t require the audience to make fun of it…the movie does your job for you.

Nic Cage is so insane, that he refused make-up and actually skinned and burned his own skull.

And there ya have it! The Top 10 Awesomely Bad Movies I Reviewed of 2012. So if you find yourself without someone to kiss at the stroke of midnight, pop in one of these into your DVD player and riff away as you laugh off the loneliness. You can always cry later—it’s what I do!

Have a great New Year, thanks for reading and I look forward to what great bad movies await me for 2013.

The Top 10 Best Movies I Reviewed of 2012

I got the bad out of the way first because it’s always best to get the bad news before the good. Like when your doctor tells you have 10 days to live but the really hot nurse with big tits wants to play with your penis for those 10 days—for the ladies, it’s like your doctor tells you that you only have 10 days to live but the hot nurse with a big dick, douche bag behavior and has a face like Channing Tatum wants to take you shopping, listen to you talk about your day and spend the rest of the time pleasuring you with his versatile tongue.

First up, the Honorable Mentions: The films that were great but not great enough to make the list…

Honorable Mentions

The Amazing Spider-man

Damn, did I hate all of Sam Raimi’s Spider-man films. The third one is so bad the producers warn that pregnant woman shouldn’t watch the film or birth defects and possible shitty film induced abortions may follow. Thankfully, the series was rebooted with a darker twist and a far better actor filling the role of Spidey and Peter Parker.

"Wheee, this is fun--even though I have no idea where the hell my web-line is sticking to!!!
Seriously, is it stuck to the clouds because I'm really fucking high up here."

Lake Mungo

This one deserved special mention because it was a “found footage” film that was actually scary. And I mean actually spine-tingling terror and not the cheap “Oh, the door slammed closed and made me jump” scare.

It looks like a group therapy session but trust me, this movie is scary as shit.

Noroi: The Curse

See Lake Mungo.

"That's nice, dear, but I asked you to draw a turtle."


A terrifically put together comedy about a dimwitted but kind-hearted hockey player portrayed by the only American Pie actor who gets work outside of American Pie movies.

Stifler on Ice!

Hobo with a Shotgun

This should get Honorable Mention just for the fact it delivers EXACTLY what the title says it will but the fact it was a great dark comedy helps too.

Also this movie has a shotgun attack to the dick.

Okay, now that the foreplay is out of the way, let’s get down to business…

The Top 10 Best Movies I Reviewed of 2012

#10 – Bernie

Not only is the story amazing (also it’s based on a true story) but Jack Black throws a curveball and shows that there’s more to him than a lot of spastic spinning and fat jokes. 

He's also presents and expensive lotions and soaps.

#9 – Prometheus

This movie got a lot of hate because of unanswered questions the movie left dangling in the wind like the belt to my robe when Jehovah’s Witnesses come to my door. Personally, I really enjoyed the film and the fact that the movie leaves with some mystery allowed me to utilize something people don’t get to use a lot nowadays…my imagination.

"Hey everybody, come check out this worm orgy."

#8 – Drive

Wait…this movie has the puss every woman thinks is the ideal man (despite the obvious dick moves he does) from The Notebook driving fast and kicking ass? Surely this can’t be real…oh but it is, Inner Monologue Displayed In Text Form…and don’t call me Shirley. Drive proves that Ryan Gosling is a badass ready to punch you in the face, fuck your girlfriend and steal your car—and you won’t mind because there was a killer soundtrack following him while he did it.

Gosling is, no doubt, looking to the horizon which is currently filling up with enough
women to block out the sun ready to jump his drive shaft.

#7 – Tucker & Dale vs. Evil

Quite possibly the best dark comedy I’ve ever seen, this movie about mistaken identity gone bad (as in teen slasher film bad) made for a laugh riot that I will be watching for the rest of my life. The film reaches near perfection levels as two hillbillies are mistaken for serial killers by a pack of dim-witted college students who, thanks to their own ineptitude, cause their own deaths while simultaneously giving credence to suspecting Tucker and Dale as the killers. Yeah, I know that sounds weird so see the damn movie and you’ll know what I’m talking about.

The newest trend:  Wood-chipper diving.

#6 – The Muppets

After Disney bought the rights to Jim Henson’s most famous creation, they literally did nothing with them—aside from some shitty Direct-to-DVD movies and a really shitty holiday special that acted as one giant propaganda film about how great the United States Postal Service was. Well, Jason Segel came in and changed that and wrote a great film about the Muppets reuniting that harkened back to the days where it was time to play the music and light the lights.

Animal has murder in his does that pig.

#5 – The Cabin in the Woods

The insanity that is Joss Whedon fans aside, the man has a haphazard track record for me (however, ask one of his fanboys and you would swear the man had a dick made of pure gold that ejaculated puppies). I was never impressed with his comics he wrote, I didn’t care for Buffy, while Firefly was a good show I didn’t care for it enough to want its return and his work on the Alien franchise is best left forgotten. However this work (and another, more epic one on this list) made me a fan of him as he and Drew Goddard wrote a film that was a fresh take on the whole “let’s go out to the creepy cabin my uncle owns in the middle of nowhere for some reason” horror genre to make a wickedly smart dark comedy. Humorous note: A Joss Whedon fanboy I know didn’t like it and blamed it entire on Goddard. That’s right, their level of worship is so deep, they will retcon reality for him.

Scary cabins in the woods are scientifically known for attracting cliche college types.

#4 – Batman: The Dark Knight Returns Pt. 1

The first of two Batman films to make the list, The Dark Knight Returns is an animated adaptation of arguably one of the best Batman books ever published. Faithful to the source material and continuing to prove that while Marvel may be kicking ass in the live action film department, they don’t have a leg to stand on compared to DC’s animated department.

Batman finds no joy in fireworks displays.

#3 – 21 Jump Street

If Tucker & Dale vs. Evil is the best dark comedy I watched in 2012, 21 Jump Street is the best regular (or light?) comedy I watched this year. Opting against a run-of-the-mill film adaptation of a bad 80s drama, this movie turns the story into a off-the-wall comedy that showcases the unlikely (and really well working) duo of Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum tearing up my laugh glad (it’s a real thing, Google it). Add in the fact there are great supporting roles and the way the jokes never, for a single second, stop coming, 21 Jump Street proved to be one of the best comedies I’ve ever seen.

By all logic and reason, these two should NOT be funny together but they are!

#2 – The Dark Knight Rises

2012 was the year of the comic adaptation. The Amazing Spider-man made me forget about the Web-Slinger jazz dancing and The Dark Knight Rises saw an epic close to Christopher Nolan’s epic Batman Trilogy. While it’s hard to outdo The Dark Knight (thanks to Heath Ledger’s amazing performance that still blows me away every time I watch it), The Dark Knight Rises sees a great conclusion (and possible new beginning) to the Cape Crusader and sees Tom Hardy make Bane a badass again…after Joel Schumacher decided to tear off the breaker’s mask, shit down his neck and turn him into a mentally challenge ape.

Tom Hardy's performance was so good, he almost altered the course of time and erased
all existence of Batman & Robin.

#1 – The Avengers

If you read my gushing review of this movie (I said it was better than sex) than you already guessed this would have topped my list at the end of the year. Pretty much solidifying that I would be a fan of the man (but not too crazed of a fan).  Joss Whedon, despite his obvious lack of work history in directing movies, was able to take the Marvel movie universe that was building for nearly a decade and craft it into arguably the best comic adaptation to ever be produced. When all other comic adapts were dark and gritty, Whedon made a world that was lively, bright and overall funny. He created a perfect balance that, despite all the star power in the film, made the team look exactly like that; a team, and not a Captain America and some other heroes or Tony Stark and friends. Even thought Mark Ruffalo stole the film as my favorite comic character The Hulk, the film was a perfect blend of action and humor with a tight story that will have me coming back for repeat viewings for the rest of my life. Shit, since I bought it on Blu-Ray, I’ve already watched it a dozen times and that doesn’t count the 5 times I saw it in the theater.

Pictured:  Better than sex.

There ya have it, my top ten movies I watched in 2012. At this point you are probably saying, “Why the fuck did I just waste my time reading this?” or “I feel like Googling some nurse porn after the description at the top.” Either way, I wish you a Happy New Year and I thank you for reading my blog and I’m excited to see what 2013 has in store for me for great movies!

The Top 10 Worst Movies I Reviewed of 2012

2012 is coming to an end…and not in the way people thought the Mayans meant. With 2013 upon us like a predator ready to pounce and possibly murder and/or rape us with the promise of a new year that could either end up serving us well…or another potential murder and/or rape. It’s time to take a look back at the films I reviewed and see what was great, amazingly bad or just plain murder and/or rapingly bad. Here’s the bad…

First up…the Honorary Mentions: the films that are just terrible but not terrible enough to land in the Top 10 but still needed to be mentioned…as a warning for future generations.

Honorary Mentions

What to Expect When You’re Expecting

Granted it’s not bad by normal standards. The film doesn’t do anything particularly wrong (other than the possible fact it’s an adaptation of a glorified self-help book) but the reason it makes the list is the fact it is only entertaining to those who have vaginas and are capable of carrying a baby. That being said, Junior-era Arnold Schwarzenegger loves the film.

"Awww, I can feeling it kicking...and feel this movie sucking everything masculine about me away."

Alien Abduction: Incident in Lake County

It’s no secret I hate “found footage” films and it’s no secret I take requests for the blogs. This one was recommended to be by a friend because he told me it was a great scary “found footage” film that was made before “found footage” films became the annoying, cheap standard for the horror genre. The film is a recreation of a “supposed” real-life event of a family being tormented by aliens. Bad acting and a grandmother who has a death grip on a wine glass despite the fact her life is in danger keeps this film from ever achieving anything remotely scary.

"I know we're are in incredible danger but why on earth would I put down my wine?"

Snow White and the Huntsman

This movie had so much potential: A gritty, dark retelling of Snow White that harkens back to the old tale rather than the bubble gum Disney version and Charlize Theron making evil look oh so sexy. A bumbling story and messy plot along with the idea that Kristen Stewart in all her emotionless glory is somehow fairer than Theron makes the film laughable…and that’s not factoring in Stewarts’ inability to act.

It's a rare moment when you don't get the "I smell cat piss" face or "I think I'm going
to vomit" face from Stewart.  Savor it.

The Smurfs

Here’s the adaptation of the beloved comic/cartoon about the little communists 3 apples high in a nutshell: Sofia Vegara’s amazing rack, Neil Patrick Harris continuing to make me wonder why people find him funny and jokes about being blue and replacing words with “smurf” so they sound like censored swear words that cease being funny the first moment they’re used.

Even the 100% computer generated Smurfs are surprised at the shitty quality of their
first live-action movie.


Oliver Stone’s propaganda film about the evils of marijuana and is basically a 2 hour version of the commercial about how if you buy weed from your buddy who really loves Phish you are actually supporting terrorism. Stone filled the movie with an extremely shitty cast (including Blake Lively delivering her lines as UNlively as possible and Taylor Kitsch—Note: not the first film starring him to be on this list) in order to try and hide the predictably bad story. However, Benicio Del Toro delivers a great performance and is the only thing keeping this off the official list…but don’t worry, the rest of the cast tried REALLY hard to destroy all of Del Toro’s work.

"Don't act, don't act, don't act..."

Now…the Top Ten Worst Movies I Reviewed in 2012

#10 – Battleship

What could go wrong with adapting a board game into a movie? Besides the obvious fact it is fucking moronic to build a movie based on a fucking board game. If you read my blog, you know I don’t usually review a movie before it hits DVD because renting a movie is far cheaper than taking out the loan needed to see a movie in a theater. However, I ended up seeing this one at the local cinema (due to narcotics and boredom) and rather than have to suffer the torture a second time and rent it from Redbox, I reviewed it and quickly moved on with my life. A messy story and poor acting is just a few of the reasons why this movie sucks (the biggest reason is the fact it’s based on a FUCKING BOARD GAME!!!) Note: Taylor Kitsch is in it…that might explain something about the poor quality (see Savages). 

I forgot the part in the board game where you battle aliens that look like extras from
a Halo video game.

#9 – Act of Valor

Don’t get me wrong, the action in this movie kicks ass and it fills me with the desire to play Call of Duty BUT casting your characters with real Navy SEALS proves to be the film’s undoing as it becomes painfully obvious that these men are paid to kill bad guys and are NOT actors. This fact is repeated with every passing second of the movie and the producers wanted a way to remind you of this by giving the most amount of lines it could to the one who could act the least. Forcing terrorists to watch this at Gitmo is the worse possible torture imaginable.

These guys' acting was so bad, they weren't even convincing as Navy SEALS--
and they really ARE Navy SEALS!!!

#8 – That’s My Boy

Come on, it wouldn’t be a Year End List about bad movies WITHOUT an Adam Sandler film (and he should feel special because he’s got two on this list--3 if you count one he produced). It’s now to the point I’m convinced that Adam just is out to make shitty movies because he hates the entire world and wants to punch us in the collective dicks to remind us that at one time he was once considered funny.

Also, Vanilla Ice is in this case you needed another reason to NOT see this one.

#7 – Taken 2

Another film I ended up seeing in the theater and knew I could never sit through again. I really, really wanted to like this one because I enjoyed the first one and Liam Neeson is a freaking badass no matter what role he’s in. However, aside from the fact it was a sequel that didn’t actually need to be made, the film suffered thanks to going light on Neeson kicking ass, a slow moving story and hardly any action in sight. I can’t help but think we’re going to get a third film where Neeson fights the producers and tries to locate a decent edit of this movie.

"I don't know who made this piece of shit but I will find you...and I will kill you."

#6 – V/H/S

Shocking, even with its awful track record, this is the only “found footage” film to make the list—that alien one is only on the Honorary Mention and doesn’t qualify, Semantics Jerk. There were some shitty “found footage” movies I reviewed this year (think Chronicle) but this one took the cake and raped it. This disaster of a film is basically an anthology of poorly written excuses to use the “found footage” gimmick that somehow fools the unwashed masses that the door they just saw slightly closed is actually true terror. The only difference between this abysmal outing and Paranormal Activity is the fact that the movie has an overwhelming tone that states, “Every time a man has a camera in his hand, his only desire is to rape women.” This wasn’t so much a horror film as it was a glimpse into the daily lives of a collection of douche bags with some monster and ghouls thrown in.

Even this man's mustache was trying to rape a neckbeard in this awful movie.

And speaking of douche bags…

#5 – Project X

The relatives of the rape-desiring characters of V/H/S star as some young up and coming future date rapist frat boys out to throw a gargantuan party for their high school graduation. Little shits with Jew fros trying to act gansta, rampant drug use and destruction of property and a never-ending montage of disrespecting women is what this movie entails. Ladies, if your boyfriend likes this movie, you might want to consider trading in for a different model. Shit, send some letters to death row for a new mate because they are less of a scumbag than someone who would utter the phrase, “I want to party with those guys!”

I had to constantly buy new TVs while watching this movie because my fist kept flying through
the screen every time these douche bags showed their faces.

#4 – John Carter

One of the biggest box office flops of all time that cost Disney millions and was embarrassing to the point a CEO had to step down (presumably because the wedgies didn’t stop after it was released). John Carter was based on an old Sci-Fi series that inspired some of the greatest films and stories of all time but Disney said, “fuck that noise, get me Taylor Kitsch so this movie sucks major balls.” Pretty much proving that Taylor Kitsch is an ancient relic from the gods out to destroy movies.

"I have been sent by the gods to destroy all that is entertaining in the world of movies!"

#3 – Jack and Jill

You knew this one was going to make the list. I can only imagine this film came about while Adam Sandler was wiping his ass and said, “Wouldn’t it be funny if I put on a dress, pretended to be my own sister and did a stupid voice for an hour and a half and fell down repeatedly? That’s comedy right?” Even more heartbreaking, Sandler somehow managed to blackmail Al Pacino into doing the movie.

Shown:  The only two people who found this movie funny.

#2- Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star

Quite possibly the most painful experience (outside the Number 1 film on this list and a Michael Bay Transformers movie) I’ve ever dealt with. There was a time when Nick Swardson was on the road to be a promising comedian—then he got sucked into Adam Sandlers clutches and Swardson decided that he didn’t need to be funny anymore. Eventually he made this one and future scientists will discover that viewing of this film leads to a brand new, very aggressive cancer.

Bucked teeth...apparently that's comedy.

#1 – Big Money Rustlas

Here’s it is, the big one. Not only will this go down as the worst film I watched in 2012, it will also go down as one of the worst films I’ve EVER seen—rivaling my most hated movie of all time; Avatar. This movie only proves one thing for me: The Insane Clown Posse’s fans (Juggalos) have a very poor grasp on what a joke is and that two men trying to be ganstas in clown make-up is more pathetic than originally predicted. However, my review for it did result in a very angry email from a Juggalo.

Eloquently written!

This email could very well be a joke emailed to me and if it is, it’s absolutely brilliant in its satire of Juggalos. If it’s real, I will never stop weeping for society.

Note how the skinny one is not in shot and the face the fat one is making...
draw your own conclusions.

With 2012 closing its doors, I want to wish you all a Happy New Year and a sincere thank you to all who read my reviews. I look forward to what horrible movies I will suffer through for 2013!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Premium Rush

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

Premium Rush – 4 out of 5

I don’t live in New York. I don’t know much about bike messaging or what it entails. In fact, I don’t know much about bikes in general. All I know is that those things shouldn’t be able to remain balanced (I’m guessing dark magic is involved there) and when I used to ride one to work on a daily basis, my butt and testicle region would fall asleep from the painfully uncomfortable seat. Now that I’ve disturbed you with discussion about my nether regions let’s talk about Premium Rush.

First Person Biking action!!!

Despite the title, the film isn’t about some amazing quality cocaine but rather a bike messenger in New York who finds himself in a pickle—and not one of those delicious kosher dill pickles but a pickle that can get you killed. Wilee (who’s not a coyote despite his name) played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt is a hotshot bike messenger—how much of a hotshot? He rides a fixed gear bike with no breaks…which, being that I know nothing about cycling, I assume means he’s a badass. Wilee has a hotheaded reputation from his company and is in some deep water with his girlfriend and fellow bike messenger Vanessa (Dania Ramirez). He also has to compete with the Cole Train of bike delivery boys; Manny (Wole Parks), who’s out to prove he’s better than Wilee and wants to park his bike in Vanessa’s rack. Wilee gets commissioned for a delivery of a Super-Mega-Ultra important envelope that needs to be delivered and, in theory, should be an easy run but he suddenly finds himself hunted by an obsessed cop with a gambling problem who wants the mysterious envelope and is possibly related to Officer Friday; Bobby Monday (Michael Shannon).

If this still was a meme it would read:  "Still a better love story than Twilight."

For some reason, I had it in my head that this was a dark thriller about a young bike messenger being chased by an insane cop out to murder him—think Joy Ride only instead of a trucker you got a bike and instead of Leelee Sobieski’s incredible rack you got Joseph Gordon-Levitt (which isn’t that bad of an exchange when you factor in the glorious lack of Paul Walker to the equation)—instead, the film is a quirky action adventure…that still involves bike messengers and an insane cop out to do some bodily harm (and less killing).

Okay...maybe some killing because that's clearly murder in his eyes.

Going into the film, I had no real preconceived notions on whether I would enjoy or boo the film. I walked in completely and totally neutral…despite the fact I, for some reason, thought it was going to be a strange horror film that’s plot sounded like something that would come directly to DVD. When it was all over, I was surprised how much I enjoyed the film and how fun it was to watch.

His expression has soften to whimsical wonder.

Despite my lack of usage and lack of understanding of the physics of bikes (I still think black magic is involved in those things) I found myself getting into the movie even though bikes, bike messaging and JGL’s killer calves are things I don’t really have an invested interest in…well, maybe Gordon-Levitt’s calves. Seriously, those calves looked amazing!

Seriously, great calves.

Alright, so the story was interesting and the elements of the importance of the envelope that “just has to get there” really cement a simple but entertaining film but what about the rest of the movie? Joseph Gordon-Levitt is the star, so already you don’t have to worry about a great performance. That shit is guaranteed with JGL and he delivers and makes the character of Wilee a charming loose-canon bike messenger (Is there a bike messaging Captain who thinks some bike messengers are too wild and demand their badge and guns or the commissioner will have their asses in a sling?). 

"Anyone else smell piss?  Oh yeah, it's New York."

With those teeth, it's hard for him to NOT chew
Some of the supporting cast can be lackluster or annoying but not to the point it ruins the film—as you can tell from my score. Sure Dania Ramirez looks hot with glistening sweat on her body as she pumps the pedals on her ten-speed but her performance is so flavorless that she’s just adequate in her role. Then you have the annoying Wole Parks as Manny hamming it up like it’s a community college production of Little Shop of Horrors (I’m not familiar with stage performances and can’t think of any bike-based plays so I fell back on one of the few I know…was there a Broadway performance of Breaking Away?) And then you have Daily Show correspondent and part-time actor who will literally take any role for a paycheck; Aasif Mandvi, diving into the endless pit of stock characters as the wise-talking, super-busy and only half paying attention to your problems with your job boss of the delivery service; Raj. His performance is so laughably generic and “by-the-numbers” that a solid case could be made that he bought a book called Stock Characters for Dummies.

"Ha, I'm the super-busy, sassy boss/receptionist who is doing a million things at once
and thinks he's super cool for doing so!"

However, Mandvi’s caricature aside, Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s performance is mirrored by the corrupt and gambling-hungry cop; Bobby Monday, thanks to Michael Shannon—General Zod himself. Shannon’s performance as the foolish cop is extremely entertaining as he balances being a dirty cop and inept human being with a fantastic New York accent. Monday is indeed a villain in this film but the film never oversteps the boundaries and makes Monday the “shoot first and I’ll hide the body immediately” corrupt cop. He’s just a dude who loves to gamble…and he’s really shitty at it and he’s desperate to work off his debt WITHOUT his legs getting broken. Sure, Monday gets in deeper as his pride and arrogance gets him in more trouble with his debtors but being a well-written character and having Shannon go against the grain and play him as a more lively individual rather than a gritty, dark and growling cop that we usually see in corrupt cops made the character addicting to watch and made me wish to see him in more scenes in the film. In fact, Shannon seemed so desperate to play this movie in a way that is so drastically different than your usual corrupt cop that he opts out of the formulaic Sam Worthington growl-voice and went with a higher pitch tone with a thick New York accent that ended up making him slightly comical but, paradoxically, more realistic.

"'re not going to kneel?"

Even the plot is unfolded in a slick way…so slick a bike messenger would slip on it like a banana peel in Mario Kart (yep, that was a bad joke, I’m aware of it). Creative editing (or pretentious techy editing depending on what side of the fence you’re on aka how long you’ve been working on your film degree while working at Starbucks) moves the film along and illustrates how Wilee operates on his bike. At this point you’re asking yourself what the hell I’m talking about. I don’t know if you know this or not but patience is a virtue and I would have got to the point where I expand on my statement but you had to jump the gun and start asking questions.

Also the story has its own built-in GPS.

Even though I know nothing about the world of bike messaging, it’s easy to assume that it’s dangerous as hell. New York has a lot of cars and a lot more people (and don’t forget about the apparent fact that the entire city is made of an apple), so the ingredients for an accident is very real and is there at all times—even when the bike is stopped, there is no shortage of possible falling anvils and pianos (of course, that’s expected when your name is Wilee). Wilee explains this in the opening of the film but the movie is clever to show off his decision making skills: When Wilee is trying to outrun a bike cop or a bad gambling cop (cops don’t really like him) he is faced with situations for possible escape and we see how each play out in his head and whether they result in success (not dying) or failure (dying). 

Shown:  Failure.

Does Premium Rush make me want to buy a Schwinn complete with baseball cards in the spokes, streamers on the handlebars and a flowered basket, move out to New York and become a bike messenger? Fuck no because that would involve riding a bike and I already explained why I don’t enjoy that (if you’ve forgotten my reason, remember that it involved my balls). Hell, E.T. couldn’t get me to want a bike and that bike came equipped with a penis-looking alien with a glowing finger, a love of candy and could make the bike fly. However, thanks to a fun story and killer performances from Batman and General Zod, Premium Rush succeeds in delivering a great movie. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to walk into traffic for ending my review with a bad pun.