Friday, March 29, 2013

Explorers

***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! And if you enjoy these reviews feel free to share them and follow the blog or follow me on Twitter (@RevRonster) for links to my reviews and the occasional live-Tweet session of the movie I'm watching! Or we can explores the far reaches of space!


    Explorers – 4 out of 5

This is a movie I watched quite bit when I was knee high to a grasshopper (horrible shrink ray accident) but as I grew older and my attention span targeted only breasts, the film worked its way out of my rotation and it has been many a year since I’ve watched it. Recently I was reminded of its existence and sought out a copy of it on DVD but when the idea of getting out of my chair and the possibility of putting on pants entered my head I almost gave up on the quest. But alas, I sought out and I discovered a copy for myself…many Bothans died so I could have it.


"Don't bother me, I'm busy with my new COMP-PU-TER."



"What do you guys want to do today?  Play some stickball
or travel through mother fuckin' space?"
 Explorers is a 1985 film from Joe Dante (the director who pretty much gave me my childhood by directing the Gremlins films, The ‘Burbs and Innerspace—to name a few) and it centers on three friends; Ben (Ethan Hawke in his first role), Wolfgang (River Phoenix, also in his first role) and Darren (Jason Presson, a kid who would later achieve fame as Alex the Yogurt Jerk in Gremlins 2). Wolfgang is a science wiz (the stereotypical jock reading this just screamed “NERD!!!!”) and has developed the required stasis field that could theoretically get these friends into space and to worlds beyond. After constructing a primitive shuttle out of a carnival ride and christening it ThunderRoad, the trio set out on a test flight and find themselves being contacted by an alien race. On their second journey, they throw caution to the wind and decide to locate the ones trying to reach them…had the boys known about the possibility of anal probes such a decision would have not been made so lightly.


State of the art animation that made the "Money for Nothing" video shit
itself with envy.



Are you my mommy?
 Like I said, it’s been years since I’ve seen this movie but I’m glad I came back to watch it. It’s just as fun as I remember. For being a collection of kids, the trio of actors are all great and their performances are just as fun to watch as a 31 year old man as it was when I was a wee one. The special effects are a little dated but, for the most part, hold up no different that some of the better special effects films of the time. Sure it’s no computer effects extravaganza that we see today but at least the scenes of the ship flying through space don’t have strings connected to it.


And on that day, they learned the terrible truth that all those crazy people
who talk about the moon landing being fake were actually right.



First gremlins and now kids rocketing through the
atmosphere...Dick Miller just can't catch a break.
 The thing that appealed most to my simple mind when I used to watch this was the wonder it filled with me. To this day I’ve always had a fascination with the prospect of life on other planets. I sure as shit believe they are out there but do I believe they have been here kidnapping our backwoods bumpkins and mutilating our cows? Absolutely not but I will never outright deny the existence that there is the potential for life to be out there and way out of our grasp. Bigfoot, on the other hand, fuck that guy because he’s not real.


"Time to shake this like a...well...like what it is, I guess."


Explorers appealed to my hopes of meeting life on other planets and hoping they would shed some light on the mysteries of the universe—like why some people in their forties still carry Velcro wallets. I saw myself in Ben, Wolfgang and Darren and wanted to have what they had; a sweet but odd looking ship and the chance to meet an alien named Wak who, if you’ve seen the movie, has spent too much time watching television (thank the Flying Spaghetti Monster that film wasn’t made now because Wak would have seen Honey Boo Boo and the cast of Jersey Shore and would have immediately declared war on our planet.)


"Time now for the probe!  Ha ha, just kidding, it's a mind probe...
the anal one comes later."


Revisiting Explorers brought me back to my youth and reminded me why I watched this one so often when I was wearing short pants. Now that I’m older (and still wearing shorts—yeah, even in winter. I’m one of those guys) I can still see the appeal of the film and now appreciate on a different level as it brings the kid out in me…but thankfully not in a chest-bursting way like in Alien.  More of a Kool-Aid man sort of way...only the wall is metaphorical...but not the Kool-Aid, that is 100% real and authentic.  Actually, now I'm confused on what exactly the point is that I'm making.  You guys remember Ecto Cooler Kool-Aid?  I could really go for a glass of that right now for some reason.

John Dies at the End

***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! And if you enjoy these reviews feel free to share them and follow the blog or follow me on Twitter (@RevRonster) for links to my reviews and the occasional live-Tweet session of the movie I'm watching! Or I have these drugs we can do.


    John Dies at the End – 3 out of 5

I never read David Wong’s book this film is based on but when I saw the trailer I thought that the movie looked like a dark journey into insanity and I really wanted to see and experience it…but not read about it though. I’m an American and reading is for losers! (Just kidding, kids. Reading is FUNdamental!)


I've been there, buddy.


John Dies at the End, aside from having one of the best titles I’ve ever seen, tells the story of Dave (Chase Williamson) and John (Rob Mayes) who find themselves suddenly thrown into a battle for our dimension as a new, self-aware drug nicknamed soy sauce has hit the streets. The effects of the drug, as seen in John and Dave, are heightened awareness to the point of near pre-cognition and, in others,…death. After sampling soy sauce, the two buds find themselves caught up in a mission to stop evil creatures from getting into their dimension and destroying their world. The lesson here…don’t do drugs, kids, because you may have to battle some monsters later because of them.


Jesus Chocolate-covered Christ!  What the hell is that thing?
Don't do drugs, kids.  These type of things always end up showing up.


JDATE—wait, better not shorten the title to an acronym because it now looks like J-Date—John Dies at the End is one of those films that never really does anything wrong but doesn’t do a whole hell of a lot right either. The movie is straight-on, middle-of-the-road in its presentation. The film constantly jumps from good to bad from great to cheap. One second the movie will look like a great dark comedy with a decent budget released under the radar for the theaters and the next second it looks like an Asylum picture released to your nearest Redbox and Wal-mart 5 dollar bin.


If there's a problem that can't be solved with a bat with nails in it then that
problem is impossible to solve.



Giamatti:  Making movies better with his presence
since 1997.
 The film’s special effects, at times, look pretty decent despite it was obvious the budget was small. I wasn’t expecting Avatar-like special effects (read that as, “I wasn’t expecting cartoon cat people that didn’t actually look that good to begin with") but what was given wasn’t that terrible…at times, I should say. The other times the special effects have the “fuck it” appearance and look like they were created with off-the-shelf green screen software someone bought used on Ebay. This overall composite of decent and mediocre special effects made the film look like, in my opinion, a live-action cartoon on Adult Swim filmed in front of a green screen like Saul of the Mole Men or Tim and Eric’s work.


That man's face was clearly carved from a piece of wood.


Even the performances are constantly jumping the spectrum of good and cheap. Overall, there are some great performances from the likes of Mayes as John, as well as Paul Giamatti as Arnie Blondestone (which is totally a name that should belong to a wizard); the man Dave is telling his story to throughout the running length of the story, and a man too cool to exist; Clancy Brown, but the main character of Dave—played by Chase Williamson—is delivered in a very unbalanced way.

But it was nice to see Doug Jones and all his skeleton-like features not
being covered by make-up and prosthetics.


Right off the bat, Williamson really brings forth something great in the movie and I thought he was spectacular but as the film progresses, he jumps back and forth from really great acting to overacting to “why bother trying, I got my paycheck.” With each scene he’s in is a roll of the dice to see if he’ll be something to watch or something to forget.


"You'll have to speak up, I'm speaking into a bratwurst."


While this jumping back and forth of quality in the film can be distracting (even the editing went from really tight, dynamic stuff to questioning if the editor had a stroke while doing it as the computer simultaneously suffered a fatal attack from a virus while the film was rendering) it doesn’t stop it from being enjoyable and interesting in its dark, quirky way—it just keeps it from being something more than a film I will only watch once and, most likely, never watch again.


Admit it, that skull helmet is the only reason you wanted to see this movie.


John Dies at the End is entertaining—the story is so effed up and strange that even if you weren’t consume illicit materials the film can somehow cause a drug trip and even though it has its issues, it’s still entertaining to experience. Hell, it even makes me want to read Wong’s book—remember kids, reading is fun and helps stop you from being an imagination-less monster…also don’t do drugs.


Unless Clancy Brown tells you to do drugs and then, by all means, you fucking
do them!!!  He's just that cool, people.


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Big Tits Zombie

***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! And if you enjoy these reviews feel free to share them and follow the blog or follow me on Twitter (@RevRonster) for links to my reviews and the occasional live-Tweet session of the movie I'm watching! Or we can fights some zombies...after taking off our clothes for money.




Big Tits Zombie – 1 out of 5

Yes, that’s the actual title of the film and no I did not start reviewing porno films for my blog. Besides, if I did review porn my reviews would all read, “Got through 5 minutes before I was all sweaty and needed a nap.” Instead this is a Japanese film…which, somehow, explains everything.


This movie taught me that strip clubs in Japan are boring but have far less
C-section scars per stripper than America.


Big Tits Zombie is a 2010 Japanese fantasy film based on a Manga book originally titled The Big Tits Dragon (and that's an even more mysterious title when you see the film). The film follows a group of strippers who are forced to battle some zombies—because apparently zombies and strippers go together like peanut butter and jelly or watching Big Tits Zombie and a feeling of utter self-loathing. The movie sees a woman named Lena Jodo (played by Japanese adult film star and nude model Sora Aoi) join a small strip club that resides next to a condemned building that was once a promising spa resort that’s ultimate failure forced the man who owned it, and his family, to commit suicide.

One day in the green room of the strip club where the strippers spend their time arguing and telling ghost stories (you know, typical stripper stuff), they find a secret hallway to the abandoned building and find a room dedicated to the occult with the Book of the Dead in there. Soon after, zombies emerge and start attacking and, before long, Lena and Ginko (another stripper that often fought with Lena—and yes, the fights led to them ripping each other’s shirts off) are left alone to stop the zombies while fellow stripper Maria uses the book to take control of the shuffling undead and make them her army. Meanwhile, not a single zombie with moderate to large sized breasts are seen the entire time.


I guess Samurai Zombie is an okay replacement for a zombie with big tits.


I’ll be honest, I only watched this film for the title—and not because the title has the word “tits” in it (okay, maybe a little) but the fact that a film with such a title was actually released on the world was the bigger reason for me to watch it and, with such a title, I knew the level of quality was going to be on the “what the fuck” level and that it was going to be a shitty film with bad acting, bad special effects and a story that got lost on the way to production (I know, you’re not suppose to judge something by it’s title but would you buy roses if they were called Fat Ass Crack Buds? Point made.)…and all my expectations were given to me in spades…and then some stuff I wasn’t prepared for even though I knew this was a Japanese film the entire time.


You're not even going to hide the strings are you?



Yes, I said zombie sushi.
Japan does weird better than anyone else in their media. Their games are strange but fun and their movies are really out-there. BTZ (I’m going to call it that for now on because I feel like a perv typing “tits” over and over again) is no different. This movie, after a pretty boring and uneventful open, quickly takes a drastic left turn to weirdsville as we get treated to a zombie with tentacles (thankfully the anime tentacle sex never started…although they were frighteningly close), zombie sushi and even…I’m still trying to convince myself I actually saw this…a fire-breathing zombie vagina.

As expected, the acting in this film was just as bad as the production value. The film looked like it was recorded on a camera phone—an older camera phone—and it just overall looks muddy. The budget was also painfully obvious to be non-existent as we see the same ten zombies over and over again and you get to witness at least three of them die four or five times.


You would think that the zombie with the top hat toward the right would have
played a bigger part but you would be wrong...and disappointed like me.


As far as the acting, I realized that the girls were cast for their appearance (and for the fact some would get naked) but it wasn’t till after I watched it that I found out that some of the cast was filled with actual adult film stars so…yeah…that explains the bad acting.


Pictured:  Acting.


Okay, I didn’t expect big things (breast pun not intended there) from the film. With a title like Big Tits Zombie I expected crap (and maybe some boobs) and it gave me that. However, the film was so bad that it was hard to make fun of and the weird elements were too unevenly distributed in the running length that it lacked the whole “what the hell” charm that a lot of Japanese films contain…and I still won’t forgive it for not having a zombie with large tits in it. Sure, those who’ve seen it could argue that there, in fact, was a zombie with large breasts at the end but I was hoping that a BTZ would have been the film’s antagonist and would have been some sort of monster the strippers would have had to battle...oh well. A man can dream can’t he…expect for the fact those dreams are now haunted by a fire-belching demon vagina.




Bully

***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! And if you enjoy these reviews feel free to share them and follow the blog or follow me on Twitter (@RevRonster) for links to my reviews and the occasional live-Tweet session of the movie I'm watching! Or you can now feel guilty about making fun of Shia LaBeouf like I now do that's to this documentary.




Bully – 4 out of 5

This is going to be a tough review to write because there’s almost no way I can make a joke in this review of Bully that won’t make me look heartless or just a complete asshole. So, here it goes…


The bus...you'll never see a more wretched hive of scum and bullying.


Bully is a 2011 documentary from director Lee Hirsch and it tackles…well…bullying. The doc follows the events of certain bullied kids in public schools in Georgia, Iowa, Texas, Mississippi and Oklahoma. It shows off kids who've reached their breaking point and battled back against the bullies only to be punished more severely than those who put the trauma on them in the first place as well as talking about how bullying became such a problem it drove some students to suicide like two young men named Tyler Long and Ty Smalley (who has too cool of a name to ever be bullied).


The interviews with this father always seemed to coincide with someone mysteriously
cutting onions in my place.



Wouldn't it be awesome if Bigfoot was walking passed in the
background? (Lay off me, I'm having a hard time making
innocent caption jokes here.)
 There’s no denying the power that this film holds in its emotional appeal. The film is done from a “fly-on-the-wall” perspective as you actually see some kids bullied along with interviews of parents and kids who have been affected by these occurrences. There’s no denying as well that aspects of this film will piss you off as you see how some of the teachers clearly don’t give a single flying fuck about what the students are going through. There’s a scene in the film where we see a principal actually going against the one bullied because he refused to shake the hand of the kid who constantly torments him.  He's then berated by the principal for this and she tells him that the kid who was doing the bullying (and was clearly just putting on a front for the principal so he can return to his bully activities once she was gone) was the bigger man. This blaming the victim mentality is seen more than it should be in this doc.


"How dare you have hurt feelings for being picked on by another student.
He placated me by pretending to apologize and I'm upset that you didn't do the same."


However, that’s how our country works. We blame those who are the tormented and then say we are powerless to stop the tormentors. Teachers, administrators and such in this doc constant make the argument that “kids will be kids” and you “can’t stop bullying.” Sadly, they are partly correct because kids are little shits to begin with but to say they are powerless to stop the little twats from being decent people is just laziness and something seen too frequently in the documentary.


This kid shouldn't let bullying get him down.  In ten years, the guys who bullied
him will be too busy dodging child support payments to even notice him anymore.
(Dammit, that comment is me bullying the bullies.)


Bullying is a huge problem (but not a new one) in our world. It’s taken on new forms thanks to our growing digital age (cyber-bullying) but it’s not a new thing—despite the fact we think it is and that it’s somehow grown (it hasn’t). The media has a love affair with bullying stories so we see it all the time and we now think it’s a brand new epidemic and then we get documentaries like this. Granted, this doc can really bring this issue to light and we can maybe start empowering teachers to finally put those little crap monsters in line and start showing some respect to their fellow students (or if you’re the NRA, put guns in the hands of teachers. I have no proof but they probably believe that.)


"Group hug?  Give 'em each a gun, that'll solve everything." - NRA Spokesman
[citation needed]


The only thing I really didn’t enjoy about the documentary was the fact they never speak to the bullies themselves.  They talk to the former bullies but never the current one. It would have been nice of them to sit down and ask them, “Why are you such an intolerant and inconsiderate little shit?” (Of course to ask such a question would be bullying but you understand the point I’m making.) It would have made a more balanced film and one that appears to be less of a propaganda machine as well as make the film deeper and more thought-provoking—but that’s just my opinion.


However, I do agree with the decision of those people who brought lightsabers
to the Anti-Bullying gathering.


My minor complaint aside, Bully is an emotionally powerful documentary about one of the oldest hazards of going to school (but if there are any kids reading this take comfort, it really does get better. School sucks and once you get through high school that asshole who bullied you ends up working at a gas station or cleaning toilets while you’ve become a stronger person by dealing with their shit, the hard part is just getting through it all.). 

The film had some difficulties getting a rating that would allow more kids to see this (possibly in school) despite the fact the distributors were making the argument that “everyone should see this movie.” And that’s a great idea…if they weren't driven by profits. As Matt Stone and Trey Parker so wonderfully parodied on their never-ending social commentary of a show; South Park, if everyone is suppose to see this film then why not release it for free on the internet? What a great idea that would be…except for the fact the studio executives want their money more than they believe in the message of the film. Hey, Lee Hirsch…I think I found the subject of your next documentary.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Kumaré

***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! And if you enjoy these reviews feel free to share them and follow the blog or follow me on Twitter (@RevRonster) for links to my reviews and the occasional live-Tweet session of the movie I'm watching! Or you can join me as I take you to a higher plain...and a lower level of life savings.




Kumaré – 4 out of 5

Spirituality is a serious issue in the world and through all of human history. People spend their lives searching for the answers of what lies beyond and others, like me, don’t give a fuck and say, “there’s nothing most likely so I’m going to enjoy my time while I have it.” People will literally turn to anything to find solace in the “why” including a religion started by a science fiction author that in no way has beliefs that resemble that of a cult without (so far) a suicide pact, the idea that the universe will give you what you want as long as you make a detailed collage of what you desire and already believe you have it, and, in the case of this film, finding answers in the suburban mom’s favorite activity; glorified stretching a.k.a. Yoga.


You know she's dying to tell you about her gluten-free, vegan, raw food lifestyle
and you immediate regret your yoga mat placement and the fact you actually went to yoga.



"And I'll become a Guru and then I shall rule the world!
Just try and stop me, Batman for I am...The Mad Guru!"
 Director and star Vikram Gandhi noticed that Gurus are more abundant in the world than a lack of self-respect at an Old Country Buffett. Everywhere he turned there were Gurus out there claiming to be divine and holding teachings that will alter everyone’s perception of the planet. Vikram decided to see if he could pull an elaborate prank and make people believe he was himself a Guru and set out to create a list of B.S. teachings and Yoga moves to make his lie have some legitimacy. So, the very American Vikram adopts a fake Indian accent to become the Guru Sri Kumaré and sets off to Arizona to start his study on the human condition and people’s desire to find inner peace and meaning. Quickly, he gets his list of followers and has to decide if he is going to come out and admit he is not what these people believe him to be.


"Pull my finger...don't worry it's part of the teaching."


A friend of mine turned me on to this film and requested I take a look at it for the blog and I really appreciate her contacting me on this one because it was great. As I’ve mentioned with other reviews of documentaries in the past, documentary films are difficult to review because, unlike other films, technical quality isn’t usually a killing factor for enjoyment. I’ve seen some really poorly filmed and put together documentaries that are still great because of its content. That’s what docs are all about; their content. This is not one of those docs because the content is interesting but the presentation is also clean and tightly put together.


To make this shot more effective, they need to be in slow motion and have an
explosion behind them.


Aside from the fact the film is edited and filmed wonderfully, the movie’s emphasis is what makes the documentary entertaining to watch. It’s addicting to witness Vikram pull of the charade and see how quickly (and easily) he’s able to get these people to fall for his act—despite the entire time he’s literally telling them that he’s a phony. However, it’s within this ease that you start to feel sorry for those who have fallen for this deception.


"I'm not sad because of being lied to, I'm sad because I just found out I'm bald."


These people are so desperate to find some deeper meaning to existence that they see something in Vikram that isn’t actually there. This concept makes the film deep and thought-provoking long after the credits are completed. Are these people just mindless sheep ready to latch upon the nearest teat that comes near them? Are these people on their own spiritual journey and Vikram’s ploy is just something that helps them build character and find their own inner truth? Is Vikram a dick for making a fool of them? Is Vikram making valid points about our society and the fact that spirituality has become a business and a chance to belong rather than something deeper? More over, is Vikram taking advantage of them and exploiting them for the sole purpose of making a documentary?


This man is offering up a "pyramid-shaped" approach to enlightment.



The answer is yes…and no to all the questions. What Vikram made with this documentary is an experiment in psychology and spirituality and the questions and answers you provide are pulled from your own experiences rather than Vikram telling you how it is. The film isn’t flashy or filled with humorous animation or famous actor narrators; instead, the movie is just a simple idea that is shown through a voyeuristic approach of us just watching the action unfolding with some narration by Vikram himself. Kumaré is a terrific documentary with a premise and presentation that is not only showing an interesting journey but also making some commentary on our world and capable of creating discussion when the film is over.

Captain America (1979)

***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! And if you enjoy these reviews feel free to share them and follow the blog or follow me on Twitter (@RevRonster) for links to my reviews and the occasional live-Tweet session of the movie I'm watching! Or we can play catch with Captain America's shield.




Captain American (1979) – 1 out of 5

The last ten years has made us complacent with our comic book movies. Prior to such films as Batman Begins, Watchman, X2, 300 and the first Iron Man there were very few examples of really solid comic book adaptations going on out there. Yes, the first two Blades kick ass and were great examples of treating the source material with respect but for every one of those we had to deal with ones that were clearly phoned-in and made just to get a film out there. Teams and heroes like the Fantastic Four and Daredevil (although the Director’s Cut of that one kicks ass and was vastly superior to the shit that hit the theaters) were treated with about as much respect as a drunk sorority girl in a frat house. The movies weren’t really made with quality in mind, they were made just to get made and get some of the cash with little to no consideration of their audience. Clearly Marvel, DC and the likes didn’t give a fuck but if you look back far enough, they didn’t give a fuck for a long time.


Even the guy who plays Capt. is shocked by the level Marvel clearly didn't care.


Take everything you know, love and appreciate about Captain America and toss it out the window (you can even throw out the part where guys like Toby Keith think that Capt. is all about just blind patriotism and yelling “USA” as you punch people). This film tells a new story of Capt.’s origin and not in a gritty reboot sort of way (this movie was made 30 years before gritty reboots were even considered an option). In this film, Steve Rogers (Reb Brown) is a surfer dude puss of a man who, despite being in the marines, wants to be an artist (you know who else wanted to be an artist, Rogers? Hitler! Let that sink in.) After almost being killed on his way to meet a scientist friend of his by some bumbling villains (the enemies try to kill him by making an oil slick on the road…because these bad guys are mischievous coyotes) he learns his father had produced a serum called FLAG (because fuck subtlety) that made him a super-soldier and it seems the changes it made on him were passed down genetically.


Wait...is this the scene in Willy Wonka where the kid gets transported through
TV waves?  Are Oompa Loompas behind this plot?


After the bad guys get their hands on a nuclear weapon, they are successfully able to almost kill Rogers and, while injured and near death, he’s given the serum and it awakens the genetic programming that was hiding in his DNA. Reluctantly (and by reluctantly, I mean the bad guys kidnapped the chick he was into), Rogers agrees to do what’s right and is renamed Captain America and given a suit that makes the comic original look dignified and fashionable. So, with all the nobility of the character from the source material thoroughly shat upon, Captain America speeds off to stop the bomb.

I can only assume when this film was made that all of those in the upper echelons of Marvel gave it a quick look and said, “Eh, whatever, kids are too stupid to know the difference” before this film was set upon the world. It can also only be assumed that the writer didn’t pick up a single issue of the comic or even fully understand what a comic was because they take all that is good about Captain America—like the fact he believes in sticking up for the little guy, fights for what’s right and decent and, even with his shortcomings prior to becoming a super soldier, he was all heart and fought with more bravery and tenacity than those in better shape than he was—well, they take all these features and say, “You know what’s better? A surfer 70s dude who can’t act that only does what’s right when the chick he wants to get with is put in danger.”


"Okay, this shield is made of plastic and it won't deflect bullets...so...
here ya go.  Be a hero, son!"


This 1979 treatment of the iconic hero is everything wrong with how a comic adaptation can go…and then it goes beyond that. They destroyed the character with an origin that does away with all the character traits that make Captain America the man that he is and that is unforgiveable in and of itself but the movie seems hell-bent on making this film something that a person, after viewing this, actually appreciate the jazz dancing in Spiderman 3.

First off, Reb Brown just plain sucks as Steve Rogers/Captain America. I’m not going to beat around the bush here, he is just awful. Acting doesn’t come naturally to him and it doesn’t even come artificially to him—in fact, it never comes to him because he looks lost the entire film. He reads his lines in an incoherent mumble and gives off less emotion than a clinically dead lobotomy patient. For example, to get to Rogers and get the hidden plans for the bomb, the bad guys of the film kill Rogers' friend and he reacts to this turn of events (and the discovery of the body) with about as much enthusiasm and reaction as a person has when purchasing sponges to clean their dishes with…actually, with far less enthusiasm.


The helmet is to help protect him from the bricks that will be hurled at him because
of that suit.


Then you have the film’s bad guys…they offer up no real threat (until they actually have a nuclear device) and resort to killing Rogers in ways that are meant to look like accidents…as oppose to just shooting him in the fucking head! And considering the intelligence that the character of Rogers shows in the film, the bad guys could have walked up to him and said, “Hey, can you look into the barrel of this gun, I promise not pull the trigger” and then you know he fucking would have done that! Instead, they resort to manufacturing car accidents to do him in…and they were clearly seconds away from a plan that involved an anvil or painting a tunnel on the side of a solid rock wall.


Sad reality, the other end of the phone isn't even plugged in.


Everything about this film is awful but it allows the opportunity to appreciate how good we have it now. Captain America: The First Avenger showed what is needed (and expected) from a Captain America property. This movie is only good to watch for a laugh because it is an unintentional comedy.

Welcome to the Dollhouse

***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! And if you enjoy these reviews feel free to share them and follow the blog or follow me on Twitter (@RevRonster) for links to my reviews and the occasional live-Tweet session of the movie I'm watching! Or you can take a look at my fingers.




Welcome to the Dollhouse – 4 out of 5

The 1995 comedy Welcome to the Dollhouse is one of those comedies that are funny for all the wrong reasons. Everything that happens in this film is deeply disturbing and mildly uncomfortable in any other context but the film portrays it in a way where it’s easy to laugh at…and you’ll feel bad for laughing if you think about it too much.

Like she's doing right now...or she's trying to set that man on fire
with her thoughts, I don't know.


Welcome to the Dollhouse tells the story of Dawn Weiner (Heather Matarazzo) (and those who laughed at "weiner," thank you, my job is now complete), a middle school student who’s unpopular and has to deal with the usual troubles of not just attending school but dealing with bullying from various other students who attack her for her less than appealing appearance, a brainiac brother, and inattentive parents who lavish more love on her younger sister than anyone else. Things get a little more complicated for Dawn as she falls in love with Steve Rogers (not that Steve Rogers); the popular guy in town who joins his brother’s band and a very odd and disturbing courting ritual from the school’s bully; Brandon (Brendan Sexton III).


This band would later be cited by Nickelback as their inspiration.
They heard them and said, "Yeah, we can be worse."


There’s no way someone can tell me that the film Napoleon Dynamite was not partially inspired by this film. While the movies don’t share any common elements within their respected stories or characters the film’s quirky appearance and the fact they involve an eccentric and unpopular protagonist definitely seems to be something the two films share. Napoleon Dynamite went a little sillier than Dollhouse and the subject matter is a little heavier.


There better be tater tots on that tray because I'm flippin' starving.


I saw this movie for the first time last year and decided to watch it again for my blog. The movie is honestly really entertaining but, like I said at the beginning, everything about this comedy should not be funny. Dawn Weiner’s torture and isolation is depressing on paper but with the presentation the film is given, the story of Dawn is treated in a way that makes the events feel other-worldly and fantastic.


His Andrew Dice Clay impression is awful.


The movie is saturated in eccentricities to the point the events in the film feel alien but are familiar enough that you can relate to them. This keeps the film from becoming too much of a drama and is capable of making the horrible things that occur to Dawn from being real. Because, honestly, nearly all the traumatic events Dawn goes through (one including a kid in her school desiring to rape her) are enough to be episodes of Law & Order if Dawn had decided to snap and eliminate those who have wronged her.


Usually it's the computer geek trying to elimate those who have done some wronging.


Furthermore, the exploitations of Dawn Weiner wouldn’t work if Heather Matarazzo didn’t perform her duty well. Matarazzo really makes Dawn eccentric and strange and keeps her character from becoming too real when involved in situations like being bullied or parents who clearly don’t even realize she’s there until they see a stranger in their house.

Welcome to the Dollhouse is not a laugh riot of a film. The movie isn’t going to keep you rolling the entire time but the film is very funny…it’s just funny in a very uncomfortable way. Every second of this movie is capable of making you squeamish as you watch this poor girl be emotionally abusive left and right. Her teachers disrespect her, her family doesn’t give two shits about her (and I’m not 100% if they even give one) and the men in her life are all capable of leaving scars on the character that will almost certainly make her decide to swear off men (except a sequel that was later produced proves that theory is incorrect). There’s enough going on in this story where one can relate to one or more of the troubles Dawn goes through but it is still out there enough where it doesn’t hit home too hard and you’re able to laugh at the misadventures of Dawn Weiner…and then feel bad for laughing because what she went through would be very traumatic in real life...but hey, her name is Weiner!

Friday, March 22, 2013

London Boulevard

***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! And if you enjoy these reviews feel free to share them and follow the blog or follow me on Twitter (@RevRonster) for links to my reviews and the occasional live-Tweet session of the movie I'm watching! Or we can stare vacantly into the void and see if it stares back.


London Boulevard – 2 out of 5


Um…I don’t know the best way to start up this review…*cough*


This is the first time I think I've ever seen Colin Farrell in a suit...
That's a start to a review isn't it?



With those glasses he could become the first
hipster gangster.
 London Boulevard is about Mitchel (Colin Farrell), a man who just got out of prison and is presented with some opportunities that may or may not get his ass sent right back to the can. A friend of his offers him an opportunity to work with a local gangster (Ray Winstone) who gives him the chance to do some collecting for him and he’s given a second opportunity to act as security for a young actress (Keira Knightley). Unfortunately, he ends up falling for the actress and ends up pissing off the gangster…


Why is that stick wearing pants?  Oh, it's Keira Knightley...
damn that woman is thin.


This review is going to be short because, in a word,I found London Boulevard boring. There’s nothing exceptionally wrong with the film itself other than its go-nowhere-slowly story. The acting is terrific and all the technical aspects of the movie look great but the story just wanders around with no real direction.

I think they're driving around trying to find the story.


Mitchel’s love for the actress doesn’t end up being that important to the film as it kinda comes and goes within the running length and it seems his relationship with the gangster is also an aspect that seems to meander into the story like a drunk trying to find his car after a night out. Sure Colin Farrell and Ray Winstone are doing a great job with their characters and are acting the fuck out of their scenes but the fact the film’s story feels like it was written by a man who kept getting distracted by the squirrels in the backyard while he was sitting at the computer typing it up.


Now kiss...


For having a nearly two hour running length going for it, it’s amazing how little actually occurs in London Boulevard. The film tries to reward your saint-like patience with an ironic ending that ties to some events that happened during various moments in the film that are geared for you to not think about them until they culminate right before the credits but these events, like the film’s central points, were chaotically thrown in haphazardly here and there so that by the time the ending comes you just no longer care and are happy because it’s finally over. The film basically just felt like a drunken friend telling you a story that has no real pay off and is littered with backtracking because they kept forgetting parts.


"...and then Jim said, "Where did you get the rubber hose" and I was
--oh but first I forget to mention that Sarah lost her keys--and then Jim said..."