Thursday, November 29, 2012

Brave

***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!
 
Brave - 4 out of 5

According to the young prophet the Fresh Prince, parents just don’t understand. However, we all know the reality when we grow up: We’re all dumb as an inbred fox when we were teenagers. Sure at the time we thought we knew it all because…because…I don’t know, for some reason we just thought we knew it all but, in reality, we didn’t know shit. Growing up, however, doesn’t automatically fill one with enlightenment because we’re all still pretty dumb as we grow. There’s a balance that needs to be discovered when dealing with children and understand that as an adult you have their best interests in mind but they also must be allowed to form their own personality and seek their own fortunes and destiny. Trust me, I know what I’m talking about because I’m NOT a father and have no children so my expertise is implied by the fact that I am literally telling you that I’m an expert and have no history or grounds to back up that statement. This delicate balance and dealing with a hormonal teenager is the basis for the latest Pixar film; Brave.

"Well...that's emasculating..."

Her messy hair means she's a rebellious spirit!
Brave is about a fictional Scottish kingdom where it is now time for the princess Merida (voice by Kelly Mcdonald) to be married off to a suitor from neighboring clans. Merida, being the fact she is an independent woman and a princess, doesn’t want to go with tradition and have a collection of dudes engage in games in order to win her hand. She wants to forge her own destiny and wants a man to love her for her and not her crown...and besides, having men jump through hoops in order to win a date would be cornered generations later thanks to modern day courting rituals and reality shows. Merida rebels and leaves the castle only to stumble upon a witch (voiced by Julie Walters) who gives her the means to get her mother; Elinor (Emma Thompson), to understand her perspective. And when I say means to get her mother to understand her viewpoint, I mean she’s given a potion that turns her mother into a bear. Now Merida and Elinor must figure out how to break the spell and heal their traumatized relationship before the second sunrise or Elinor will remain a bear for the rest of her days. That would be a very bad thing despite the fact bears are pretty badass. You see, Merida’s father; Fergus (Billy Connolly) lost his leg to a mythical beast of a bear and I’m sure that would put some sort of dampener on their marriage.

"In retrospect, Mom, I guess an arranged marriage isn't as bad as turning you into a bear."


I love Pixar’s films. They were truly the first company to make heartfelt animated films that could prove to be not only amazing from a technical standpoint and be something the entire family could enjoy but they also proved that animated movies could have true emotion and original stories that went beyond talking and smirking animals. I’m not afraid to say that most of their movies make me cry like a child who’s parents just got divorced and, as the father was walking out the door, decided to pop the brand new balloon he got…also the mother told him he was adopted. Pixar did what few animated companies did and made characters who felt real and weren’t just splashes of bright color to occupy children for an hour and a half.

This movie loves bears.  If beets and Battlestar Galactica were involved in the story
I would think Dwight Schrute wrote this.


I didn’t get to see Brave in the theaters (the weekend it came out, I was busy running in a zombie 5K race and, in my opinion, I made the better choice) but after watching it on DVD, I’m not too upset I missed it. Brave isn’t a terrible film, far from it, but it’s not the embodiment of Pixar’s best work. The film tells a great story about a daughter and a mother trying to resolve their issues and we get to hear Billy Connolly’s voice (Anyone who says they hate Billy Connolly is secretly an alien out to destroy the world) but the film doesn’t achieve the same status as Toy Story 3 or Finding Nemo.

It also has a shocking amount of male nudity.


Merida’s blight (being forced to marry) feels too Princess Jasmine and this element of the story is never feathered out enough where Merida can become one of those great characters that Pixar is always filling our hearts with. The film opens with some backstory and a minor montage that showcases some of Merida’s free-spirit behavior but it’s quickly overshadowed by Fergus’ backstory of losing his leg to his great white whale—a great black bear. In the end, Merida feels more like the vacuous, simple Princesses that Disney is known for rather than the layered and deep characters Pixar is notorious for pumping out into the theaters and DVDs (and Blu-Rays, I’m not going to discriminate against formats here.)

A REALLY great black bear!


I sound harsh but, in the end, Brave is a really good movie and, yes, I cried at the end. Despite Merida’s capacity to be a great Pixar character never truly being realized, the film does a great job at developing the haphazard relationship between Elinor and Merida…and you know their relationship is strained when seeing a witch to put a spell on your mommy just to get her to listen to you seems like a GOOD idea. In fact, there’s actually a lot of great aspects to the film.

Looks like she's about to drop an F-bomb.


Since it’s Pixar, I don’t need to point out that the animation is awesome…you know this without actually having to even see the film and if you don’t know that, then chances are you have never actually seen a Pixar film and probably are a time traveler from another time, mostly likely the past, and you are now filling me with a lot of confusion because you are from the past but somehow created a device to travel through time with. And since we’re on this subject, can I borrow your time machine so I can travel to the future, get a sports almanac and Biff Tannen my life?

I guess that's what I would look like as a Pixar cartoon...and shaved.

I kinda went on a tangent there and I’m sorry. Back to Brave

That's better...we're back on track.


Like I said, there is a lot going on in this movie. The story is the emotional one you would expect from Pixar (albeit it’s not as long as it should have been to tell the story to its extent it needed) but the true highlight resides in the voice acting. Not only do you get to hear Billy Connolly but Craig Ferguson, Kevin McKidd and Robbie Coltrane provide the voices for the fathers of the three clans pimping out their sons for Merida’s throne—I mean, heart. These four men were so good that I actually wanted the film to trade its focus on seeing mommy and daughter resolve their issues and see this group bumble and fumble their way to kill a bear, play some golf, eat haggis while playing bagpipes or whatever other Scottish stereotype I can come up with.

Does having amazing facial hair count as a Scottish stereotype?


Also, the movie does a great job with some breast jiggle physics.

Did you think I was kidding about the boobs?


Brave isn’t a Wall-e or Monsters, Inc. but it’s a great inclusion to their films…and thankfully it waited till the end to make me cry like a bitch and not at the very beginning like Up. While it isn’t the best outing Pixar has shown and not as funny as their previous works, it’s still a great animated family film that tells a great story, has great voice acting and has some top notch music that really transports you to the moors of Scotland. And it’s better than Cars and its sequel. I’m sorry Pixar but talking cars? Did Dreamworks step in and sell you that idea? How do you go from movies about toys dealing with becoming obsolete, monsters existing in their own realm harvesting the screams of children, ants standing up to cricket aggressors to talking automobiles? Alright, before I get on a tangent about how Cars sucks, I’m going to get into this time machine and check out the Enchantment Under the Sea dance. Later, nerds!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

***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!



Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter – 3 out of 5


Boy, our 16th President sure had an interesting life! He had a beard, wore a ridiculous hat, hunted vampires and was assassinated by a male model when visiting the theater.

But why male models?

Boy, the cash I would give to see that blown up by
some sort of aliens from space on a national holiday.
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is exactly what it sounds like; a historical drama of Lincoln’s hardships as president as he attempts to end slavery and the Civil War—ah, I’m just yanking your crank, it’s about the President kicking some blood-sucker ass! The film opens with Lincoln (Benjamin Walker) losing his mother and, while on a quest for revenge, discovers vampires are real and begins training with a mysterious man named Henry (Dominic Cooper) to learn how to deliver deadly justice to the pointy-teeth losers. As time passes, Lincoln decides to get into politics to stop slavery thanks to inspiration from his boyhood friend; Will Johnson (Anthony Mackie). On his way to the White House, Abe falls in love with the woman who will become his wife (lucky for him. It would be awful if he fell in love with someone who would go on to be his EX-wife); Mary Todd Lincoln (Mary Elizabeth Winstead). By the time he becomes the President and is trying to stop the war, it seems that his past of hunting vamps is over but the Confederates decide to forge an unholy alliance with Satan’s legions and Abe is forced to pick up his axe and deal out hunt again!

I suddenly have the urge to fight 7 evil exes...

"I hope someday my vampire killing exploits gets me
on a Silver Dollar and not a Copper Penny."
I never read the book which this film is based on because, let’s face it, it’s just a work of exploitation fan-fiction that was luckily enough to get published thanks to the fact that the concept of vampires and the idea of them being hunted by the man on our pennies and our five dollar bills doesn't have a copyright. I’ll be honest, I found the concept to be as silly as putting zombies in a Jane Austen novel (shit, they actually did that). I looked at it and said, “Wow, they are not even trying to cover up the blatant idea that this was created solely to cash in on the vampire craze.” That being said, I decided to watch the movie because 1) I love movies and 2) this one looked silly enough to be entertaining with a potential to be a kick-ass popcorn action film.

"I just woke up...let's film this shit!"


Once you get beyond the absolutely silly concept (and let’s be honest, there’s no way we can take this one seriously and this is coming from a guy who thinks Planet of the Apes is a brilliant piece of Sci-fi), Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter isn’t a bad movie. The movie tells a decent fictionalized story of arguably one of the best presidents our country has had, albeit a very silly story. The film also does a tremendous job with creating a dark tone throughout the film and it is echoed through the overall presentation of the movie. However, this film did have a lot of set-backs that keep it from being a truly great action film and keeps it at bay in the “meh” realm of action films.

Coming next...Thomas Jefferson:  Zombie Slayer and William Taft:  Donut Destroyer.


First off, the film does a terrible job at making the vampires decent villains. While the vampires look cool, there’s very little menace to them and things aren’t helped when the granddaddy of all the vamps isn’t developed…well…at all. Adam (yeah, that’s the bad vamp’s name) is merely stated to be a badass of vampires but very little is SHOWN to make him a badass. Even in the film’s climax when Abe and Sam engage in their epic showdown, Adam kinda comes off as a puss and doesn’t do much other than kick out some 2x4’s on a wooden bridge.

"I'm totally a really bad guy...I'll tell you again if it helps convince you."


And speaking of wood…

This movie really likes exploding lumber. Anytime someone comes into contact with wood, even at mild speeds, the wood would explode into a million splinters to rain down on the action taking place. Seriously, if there was a fetish for such a thing (and with the invention of the internet, I almost guarantee there is), this would be the movie to watch to get your rocks off until you are sore and dehydrated.

That is an orgy of exploding wood.


Back to the vamps again…

The beginning of the film (when Abe shockingly finds out there are vampires and, actually, reacts quite calmly to such earth-shattering information) we learn that vampires are strong, fast and have the ability to make themselves invisible. Sounds pretty cool, right? Too bad the film failed to fully embrace and utilize this fact. The invisibility thing comes into play a few times but each time a blood-sucker goes see-through, they materialize directly in front of Abe or whoever is fighting them. They don’t, for the sake of argument, appear from behind or, being vampires and all, leap high in the air and rain death down from above.

Lincoln apparently was friends with a McPoyle.


This misuse of invisibility can be forgiven but the waste of their superhuman speed and strength being wasted can’t. How is it wasted? In the fact that it seems regular old humans can be just as strong and fast as they are if they really wanted to (so the question has to be asked: What exactly is the upside to being a vampire? Does blood taste that good?). For example, Abe literally cuts cleanly through a cut with his axe and, at one point, catches a horse thrown at him by a vampire. Okay, I may have exaggerated that last one a little and he caught a horse in the chest and rolled with the impact to end up riding the stead but that doesn’t change the fact that Abe clearly is from Krypton because the equestrian didn’t fucking crush him! This causes the film to have no real threat level to the vampires and leaves the film with a severe lack of dramatic tension. All heroes need to be weaker than their enemy—whether it be from sheer numbers or their own physical weaknesses—so when you’re hero is just as powerful as the vampires he’s hunting without their drawbacks (like an unquenchable thirst for human blood), what’s the point? The film is literally giving you reasons to NOT care about the outcome of the fight—but I guess that’s why they threw in the fact that the vampires sided with the Confederates to try and take over the country. And with that, the filmmakers clap their hands and say, “Problem solved!”

"Allow me to catch this horse with my face!"

"Twirling the axe helps me kill the vampires faster."
All complaints aside, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is a mildly entertaining action film that doesn’t live up to the potential to be a great, fun (despite the silliness), exploitation film meant to cash in on the vampire obsession our country is currently going through. And the film already gets points from the fact the vampires DON’T sparkle and this was made from people who want to see vamps slaughters and not overcome with a desire to make out with them. Sure the movie has its problems and our lead actor Benjamin Walker looks like a Liam Neeson clone without the acting ability and comes off flat in his performance as our 16th President but he does his job just adequately enough to keep the movie from being a total wash. If the filmmakers threw in a few more action sequences and worked on making the film’s villain an actually menace, the movie could have become a guilty pleasure that is fun to watch despite the fact it is, in reality, a completely stupid idea.

At the very least, they could have shown when the male model that is John Wilkes Booth assassinate him.

Primal

***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!


Primal – 2 out of 5


Primal, the title alone sounds like a bad hair metal band from the 80s who’s dark lyrics would probably conflict with their brightly colored spandex outfits, maximum teased hair and high-pitched lead vocals. Instead, Primal is an Australian horror film that can’t quite figure out where within the genre of horror it wants to land in.

The story is about a couple friends heading out to camp in the wilds of the Australian outback (the Down Under equivalent of using an “Uncle’s cabin in the unnecessarily and frighteningly isolated, extra dark woods where light seems incapable of escaping and mist always hangs around”—strange when you consider that within the movie universe a realtor showed this property to someone and their first reaction is, “I’ll take it!!!”). The opening of the film shows us there is something wrong with this particular area as a native is murder by a shadowy figure. Not a bad setup until the opening credits start and you’re treated to hard rock song that feels utterly out-of-place and made more so when the editor decided that turning up its volume to ear-bleeding proportions on the film’s audio track was the way to go.

Is that Dr. Curt Connors in the background?  In Lizard form, of course.

Cool...he is literally killing it with fire.
Not long after the group of kids arrive, the sex starts…not long after that, the horror starts. One of the characters decides to go skinny dipping in a nearby pond and emerges covered in leeches. Not long after that, she starts to undergo changes (that may or may not be caused by the water, the leeches or possibly the nudity) that are not too different from one becoming a zombie…except she grows a set of sharp teeth that makes Baraka from Mortal Kombat look like the picture of perfect dental health and she becomes uber-violent. Eventually, the sickness spreads to another member of the group and death is quick to follow as the group’s two new feral friends decide to pick them off one by one and seem to be making some sort of sacrifice to a nearby cave—yeah, you read that last part correctly.

"You know you want me, Baraka."

On the surface, Primal seemed to have promise as the group finds their friends become monsters and it looks like the movie is on the verge of being a nice Aussie take on the zombie story. Sadly, this movie gets bogged down on the fact it decides to get stranger and stranger as the film goes on, decides to opt out of using tone to create fear by using the cheap and easy “jump” tactics and it has some bad CG use at the end which makes the film more laughable then horrifying. This is one of those films that could have been better if they just kept it simple. Some friends become murderous zombies and try to kill and eat the rest. Pretty hard to screw that up.

"Wow, this is way better than staying home, getting drunk and huffing paint."


However, the film tries to offer up a reason for this infection and, in doing so, makes the movie an unintentional comedy. It’s hinted that the land they are on is cursed/haunted/infected somehow and that a cave nearby contains some ancient evil. One of the brutes makes a kangaroo sacrifice to the cave and one of the members of the group is taken and becomes the love doll to the beast that resides inside. But since movie monsters are never satisfied, another member of the group makes their way into the cave (to save the other, of course) and ends up getting strapped down by some tentacles (anime fans settle down) and gets “mouth raped” by a giant worm-beast (I think I just made the anime fans more excited). This would be okay (as okay as watching a worm mouth-rape a woman as it can be) except it is thrown in right before the credits, there’s really not much build up to a raping worm throughout the movie and the budget-level computer effects to create this beast is pretty bad by even Direct-to-DVD standards.

Anime fans rejoice!


Then there’s also the fact that, after being infected, the group’s friends become the most noble, most polite duo of cannibalistic feral mutants the world of cinema has ever seen. Oh sure, they DO try to kill their friends but only do so when it’s convenient. When they burst onto the scene, they do their murder thing and leave the rest to themselves and calmly walk into the wilds of the Outback. I kid you not, there is even a scene where the group keeps eye contact with the beasties as they casually saunter away. I swear I heard the feral monsters even said, “later” and gave a slight nod of their heads as they left.

"I sure hope I don't get mouth-raped by a giant worm."

I know I sound harsh but Primal isn’t that bad of a movie. The ending moments (the parts WITHOUT the mouth-raping earthworm) offer up a brutal wrap up to an almost forgotten plot thread and, at its heart, the story is pretty decent (once again, forgetting the parts with the oral-dominating annelid). The acting is passable, although no one on the cast really stands out but none of them are terrible either. Sure the movie could have been made simpler and, in the process, more enjoyable but it wasn’t unwatchable. As a reader of my blog, you should know by now that I love bad movies (and if you haven’t learned that fact yet, do you even pay attention to these reviews?). I enjoy watching a film that has bad special effects, odd stories and bad acting. The whole product becomes a source of amusement for me. That’s what Primal gave me. Sure I enjoyed it for the exact OPPOSITE reasons the filmmakers were going for but at least I enjoyed it to some extent. It’s not like I wasted 3 hours of my life watching Avatar.

The Day of the Triffids

***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!


The Day of the Triffids – 1 out of 5


I would like to make the assumption that in 1962 people were just easier to scare. I would like to say this because how else can you explain that a movie was made about killer planets called triffids (and it was based on a best-selling book—how’s that for scary?). The reality is I can’t legitimately say this and have it make sense because this property was later adopted for two BBC miniseries: One in 1981 and one in 2009! 2009!!!! In this day and age where we need copious amounts of gore and nudity in our horror films, a miniseries was produced about killer planets!

Arghhhh!!!  Wait...seriously?


The Day of the Triffids is about a meteor shower that causes blindness in a majority of the population in the world. While everyone is groping around blinding (because our population conveniently forgot what it’s like to be in the dark), a plant called the triffids uproots itself and decides to devour humans (actually eating of humans is not seen because it was 1962 and that would have caused riots). Well, some people, including a naval officer who had bandages on his eyes during the shower, are saved from the blindness and are the only ones to see the horror that is walking, killing plants. Horror being a relative term here as the plants move at speeds that make old men in walkers look like they are more of the mall walker old people variety—yep, that’s right, you can just casually stroll away from these beasts.

The smile of a man emptying his bowels into his pants...and loving it!


When I heard there was a horror film made in 1962 about killer plants that WEREN’T Audrey from Little Shop of Horrors, I said, “Wow, that’s gotta suck major asshole…I must watch it!” So, I hunted a copy down because, against all odds and spiting in the face of God himself, Netflix doesn’t carry it, and let me tell you this: It’s just as boring as you think it would be.

The plants look like people...oh...those ARE people.


The premise itself is just dumb but you got to hand it to the author for the plot device of making the world blind because, in reality, we as a society would not just skip with a whistle on our lips away from the triffids but some members of our population would run circles around the plants, slapping it’s petals and occasionally kicking it where it’s vegetation balls should be.

This is the most fear you'll get from any of the characters...but that's expected when
your monsters are FUCKING PLANTS!!!


Of course, the author thought of that one too by allowing the triffids to spit poison…but we once again run into the problem with the fact that the elderly make the triffids look slow and decrepit so avoiding some poison spit from a creature that literally needs to be within ten feet (more likely less) of striking distance to hit you, the threat level once again returns to zero. I’ve honestly had bigger anxiety attacks, fear and maybe even a mild heart attack losing my keys.

"Ma'am...can you please stop touching my head."


Okay, so I really wasn’t expecting anything remotely close to true horror from The Day of the Triffids. I was expecting shit and it gave me that…just not enough of it. The reality is, the triffids are barely in the film and don’t really come off as any real threat—even though the blindness of the world’s population suddenly turn people into morons who can’t tie their shoes without causing a nuclear disaster. I actually wanted to see more campy action against the plants but, instead, the movie kinda forgets about them for a while and then, in the last 15 minutes, suddenly remembers the title of the film and brings them back just in time to be killed by the lamest plot device ever placed within a movie—however, later, before M. Night Shayamalan went insane and stopped trying, made this particular plot device work for him in Signs. So, yes, this movie sucks and is barely worth a sit down of intense riffing but the plants make sound effects that sound like smoking a bong so potheads will love that. It’s probably their favorite movie right after Reefer Madness.

The Amityville Horror (2005)


***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!


The Amityville Horror (2005) – 2 out of 5


After watching the original, I decided that I had to watch the 2005 remake that I actually never saw…despite the fact that a majority of it was filmed less than 20 minutes away from my house.


A pre-Hit-Girl Chloe Grace Moretz...
Deviating slightly from the book and the 1979 original, this version sees the Lutz family move into that demonic house (okay, so that’s still the same) and George (Ryan Reynolds’ abs—and I guess the rest of him, too) finds himself being slowly possessed by the evil that rests within its walls. Meanwhile, the youngest child; Chelsea, Kathy Lutz’s (Melissa George) daughter from a previous marriage forms a friendship with the spirit of a murder child in the house and Kathy’s two sons are becoming increasingly wary of the house and the transformation of George from a normal guy to a potential star of Cops as the days pass. Kathy starts to fear for her loved ones and seeks the counsel of Father Callaway (Philip Baker Hall) but the priest can’t grow a pair long enough to stay in the house. What’s the Lutz family to do? 

What's the Lutz family to do?  Why take off Ryan Reynold's shirt of course.


Unlike the book and the original film, this remake sees George Lutz become the film’s antagonist as he lashes out at the family as the house takes its hold on him. In the previous film, James Brolin felt irritation and sickness take him but always remained clear-headed enough to get down to the bottom of what it happening in their domicile. Of course, the answers were LITERALLY at the bottom as it turned out that not only did a murder take place in the home but a man did demonic ceremonies in the basement and tortured Indians (a fact kept in and developed more in this remake).

"Noooo, the gutters!!!"


This version also has the character of the priest being downplayed…unlike the scenery chewing performance of Rod Steiger in the 1979 film. Hall, instead, gives a much more subdued, more realistic Holy Man who isn’t yelling to the skies about the events and demons haunting the house. Still, he could be less of a pussy and not run out of the building wetting himself because of some spirits. The power of Christ apparently also extends to filling one’s pants and running away crying.

"Maybe I could help if I wasn't such a puss."


Believe it or not, this remake actually makes some improvements and advancements on the last one…of course, as you can tell by the fact that my score for this one is the same as the original, you are probably guessing that the improvements weren’t much and you would be correct in that guess.

Reynolds has no shirt again...


For me, the scares in the first film were few and far between and this one is not much different. However, unlike the original classic, this one does a far better job of creating a truly haunting atmosphere but this isn’t due to better storytelling or acting but rather due to the advancements in technology. Thanks to better cameras, computer editing and advancements in lighting technology, this film is able to offer a darker, grittier and overall more fitting tone and setting for the ghoulish story. The limits of technology is apparent when the two are compared—especially the light-up child’s toy in the dark meant to represent a ghost in the first film.

That's just normal in most houses, not the work of a demon.


However, despite the advancement in technology that allows for a more haunting setting, the overall presentation of the ghost story within the film’s running length is tiresome and cliché. Despite having an amazing tone set for the film, the director settles for cheap “jump” moments rather than create truly spine-tingling events. The film does this through tiresome repetition of dream/vision sequences and specter scenes that feel lifted from other films. This act becomes so monotonous that when the movie hit the supposedly terrifying third act, I was numb to the concept that this movie would possibly scare me. 

"Ah...free from the burden of my shirt..."


One of the oddest things about this movie has to be the performance of Ryan Reynolds. This movie came out at a time when I couldn’t STAND Reynolds and found him to be more annoying than funny or endearing. However, times have changed and I now consider myself a fan of the man but this movie seems like it was in the middle of Reynolds transition from a one-joke note as Van Wilder to a more versatile actor who can be a bad-ass AND be funny as Deadpool in Wolverine (we’ll ignore the way that movie destroyed the character—and possibly the only real highlight). 

It's raining so hard I can't tell which is raindrops on her face and which is teardrops.


When the film opens, Reynolds is painfully unconvincing as a loving husband and a caring father figure to Kathy’s three children and I prepared myself for a feature length wooden performance from him. However, as he becomes more an more possessed by the evil in the house, he becomes chilling and addicting to watch…and then he’ll snap into his snarky Van Wilder character when he’s away from the house and it creates an overall bi-polar feel to his performance and it’s hard to say if he was good or bad because he literally is both throughout the entire film.

"You want me to take my shirt off again?"


The Amityville Horror isn’t great but, in my opinion, neither was the first one. Like the 1979 cult classic, this one offered up a single moment that was kinda spooky in a mess of bad jump sequences—but that’s better than the mess of unintentionally hilarious scared faces that made up the original. The tone is better and the story, although a tangle of cliché and contrived ghost story expectations, is a little more feathered out than the first film. I also found it cool that the movie was filmed almost entirely in Silver Lake, Wisconsin (literally about 20 minutes from my house) but, in the end and like most horror films, this movie did little to scare me but when your scary flick feels more like an excuse to constantly try and film Ryan Reynolds with his shirt off than actually create some scares, a lack of anything scary isn’t really that surprising.

Seeking a Friend for the End of the World

***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!

Seeking a Friend for the End of the World - 3 out of 5

This movie had everything I wanted...the impeding apocalypse, that talking twig from the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, Steve Carell...how could it go wrong?

This is Steve's "Don't Fuck With Me" Face.


They look like such a happy couple.
The title is not just some artistic piece of mumbo jumbo thrown in to be creative.  The film is about the end of the world as a big ass meteor is coming to crash into our supple planet (boy I sure made Armageddon sound sexy!).  Dodge (Steve Carell) sees his wife (played by his real-life wife; Nancy Carell) leave him because...well...the end of the world wouldn't be the strangest reason for a break-up (a girl once left me because I like Doctor Who).  Dodge becomes increasingly depressed and tries to go about his life despite the fact that the world's expiration date is quickly approaching.  Through happenstance, Dodge meets a  young neighbor of his; Penny (Keira Knightley) and together they decide that Dodge needs to be reunited with his lost love and possibly find hope to get Penny to see her family.

Even her hair is grossly thin.


When I watched this trailer, the movie looked like it would be a silly, sweet, romantic comedy set during the End Times and I was instantly sold...plus it has Steve Carell and I love that guy!  Sadly, the movie didn't live up to the expectation.

Oh, so that's where Gil Grissom went after he left Las Vegas.


Seeking a Friend for the End of the World starts terrifically as it shows the levels of insanity people will go through when the end is near.  What it delivers is a charming comedy with a heavy dose of vulgarity as the world turns into a hedonistic devil's playground and continues this path when Penny and Dodge begin their journey together.  However, in the middle of the second act, the film changes gears.

T.J. Miller takes all the funny this movie had with him when his character left.


I expected the movie to take a more serious turn and head in a more romantic comedy direction but the problem arrives that even the film's story starts to get confused on the direction it should go.  Literally, the film takes on a new story about three different times during the last half of the movie.  I don't mean the film decided to take a sharp turn and go down a different street but rather the car (movie) turned off its engine (story) and put in a new engine (story) before ultimately doing it again...and then again.  This end results means a heck of a lot of unresolved plotlines and a conclusion that ultimately fails to deliver...and fails in a big way.  Like, a big chuck of rock ending all life on the planet way.

Carell sure makes being depressed adorable and charming.


I'm pretty sure she is turning into a demon in this screencap.
The end of the film is a mess that takes the already established characters and turns them around to the point they are no longer the same when the movie began.  And I don't mean they grew or evolved like Pokemon but more like they were rewritten half way through.  The grossly predictable love story that arrives feels unnecessarily tagged on and not only leaves the film's main plot device left hanging in the wind like an aging nudist's sausage and nuts but makes a promising premise become cliche and boring.

Hey, it's the former President and Spider-man's uncle and Captain Benjamin L. Willard...
Dammit, Martin Sheer, your resume is filled with too many great characters for me to
provide a humorous reference in this caption.


The last half of this movie is just plain bad storytelling and a mess.  It nearly destroys the integrity of the entire film...that is, if the beginning wasn't that awesome!  Honestly, the first half of the film is so funny and so well put together that it becomes easy to forgive the sudden change of film we see in the final half.  Not to mention Steve Carell's performance is his usual strong standard and that helps to ease the discomfort from the sudden changes in tone the movie abruptly takes later on.

For some reason, Dodge continues to go to work once the end of the world is officially
announced...and what follows is the most impossible example of suspending disbelief
a movie has ever offered up to an audience.


Seeking a Friend was loaded with potential for a fun, endearing story of a man trying to go against impossible odds and reunite with a lost love when the entire world is giving in and going to shit. Sadly, the film's story and plot become a mess that even Jackson Pollock can't make into art and the promise the film once held is smash to bits like...I don't know...a giant piece of granite falling from space.  Fortunately, the first portion of the film is great.  So, there can easily be a Director's Cut that has the meteor crash faster than anticipated and it causes the film to end halfway through.  Just CGI that shit in...it'll only help this one.