Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Hump: No. 60

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Monday, March 28, 2011

Suckiest Punch

Release: 03.25.11
Rated PG-13
1 hour, 49 minutes

A Netflix Night

After her mother's death, a young woman (Emily Browning, The Uninvited) is carted off to a mental institution by her stepfather. Once there, Baby Doll imagines she and her fellow inmates are being held captive in some sort of brothel/halfway house for runaway girls. The headliner, Sweet Pea (Abbie Cornish, Limitless), doesn't take to Baby Doll the way her sister Rocket (Jena Malone, The Ruins) does. When Amber (Jamie Chung, Dragonball: Evolution) and Blondie (Vanessa Hudgens, Bandslam) hear Baby Doll has a plan to escape before the High Roller (Jon Hamm, The Town) arrives in five days, Sweet Pea reluctantly joins them. For her plan to work, the women have to procure four items from their captor Blue (Oscar Isaac, Robin Hood) and his men, which they do while Baby Doll mesmerizes them with her dancing. As Baby Doll sways to the music, she dreams she and the girls are instructed by a Wise Man (Scott Glenn, Training Day) to conquer a series of nightmarish realms to retrieve these precious items. 


That was kinda shit.

I never expected Sucker Punch to be revolutionary, but I didn't anticipate wanting to repeatedly punch myself in the face for paying to see it. I defended director Zack Snyder (Dawn of the Dead) for both 300 and Watchmen. Save for that one excruciatingly ridiculous Hallelujah sex scene, Watchmen was a pretty awesome film. Sucker Punch, however, felt like I was watching that scene on a continuous loop. Also, weeeee... dooooon't... neeeeed... tooooo... seeeeee... evvvvv... errrrry... scennnnne... annnnnd... pllllllot... poooooint... innnnn... slooooow... mooooo... tionnnnnn. Baby Doll explains to her sisters-in-satin that she needs to acquire a map, fire, a knife and a key to escape so why bother telegraphing their importance to audiences using slow motion? Maybe Snyder thought viewers are too dense to follow his needlessly complex story. 

Sucker Punch has about as much substance as Baby Doll's skirt has cloth. It's all sex appeal and style, which at first promising, loses its awe rapidly. The monstrous creations Baby and Co. face are inspired and suitably menacing. By the third nightmare sequence, the hail of slow-motion bullets into yet another throng of disposable, faceless combatants becomes tedious. All of these dazzling visuals are accompanied by a rocking soundtrack, but the combination of music and explosions are mind-numbing and, at my theater, nearly deafening. 

Poor Emily Browning. She alternates between kicking ass and staring into space wishing for a better-written character. I feel sorriest for Abbie Cornish who now has to list this film on her resume. To her favor, she is the only girl given any significantly emotional scenes and she nails them. I'm glad Jena Malone, Carla Gugino and Scott Glenn are working, but they deserve better roles. Glenn's Wise Man stands around spouting cliches. Snyder should have hired Baz Luhrmann to advise the girls to wear sunscreen; it would have been just as effective.  

Dirty Undies
I should give Sucker Punch credit for giving audiences five smokin' hot heroines, but even that backfires. Seeing sexy, supple hotties wearing fishnets and thigh-high stockings with outfits that would make strippers blush should sprout a rainforest's worth of wood in theaters across the country. However, the slow-motion barrage of battles, which devolve into Baby repeatedly relying on cool gymnastics and swordplay is enough to wish to never see pigtails and a slutty sailor's suit ever again.

Baby Doll's first battle against the giant samurai is thrilling as is the rush-through-the-trenches sequence that follows. Snyder's use of exploding light and escaping steam to limit the bloodshed is clever, but had he wanted this film to have better theatrical legs, it needed to be rated R. And, by the by, why does Sweet Pea carry a sword if she never fucking uses it?!

The Money Shot
Zack Snyder has said, "It's difficult to find a movie that feels true to itself. You feel the hand of Hollywood, the moviemaking by committee, on everything." Yes, a good amount of Hollywood fare is by-committee bullshit, but you, sir, needed others to keep your ego in check with Sucker Punch. If it were up to me, I'd snatch Superman: Man of Steel out from Snyder's hands without hesitation. I guess the announcement that Amy Adams will play Lois Lane conveniently overshadows this colossal fuck up.

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MMM: I'd Watch That For a Dollar

Can you believe March is drawing to a close? I had such high hopes for the month, and unless I can somehow wave a magic wand; it looks like April is going to be doubly-packed with to dos. It's also in the 30s and sleeting today, so not much incentive to turn over a productive leaf.

It is good movie-watching weather. I watched three films over the weekend, none of which blew me away and at least one of which just blew. More on that later. I really dug the music in Limitless; this week's selection is from the soundtrack. Ironically, the music video from the Ohio-born blues duo of Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney, aka The Black Keys, is itself a short film along the lines of Machete and El Mariachi. Watching Howlin For You helped restore my faith that I could watch sexy, scantily-clad chicks kick ass and not become physically ill. A strange concern for the Reel Whore, I know, but had you been subjected to the shit I was over the weekend, you would understand. Without further delay, I leave you to ogle Tricia Helfer and groove to this funky tune.

The Black Keys - Howlin For You

Is it just me or does Dan Auerbach kinda look like Jon Hamm underneath that 'stache?

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Friday, March 25, 2011

Trailer Trash: The March 25th Quickie

I can't believe it's already Friday! At one point this week seemed to be moving in reverse; now if the weekend would only move as slowly so I can catch up on some good theater. We've got two new releases going head to head against the NCAA tournament according to IMDb.Shall we?

Sucker Punch My best guess is Zack Snyder had one helluva wet dream over Mia Wallace's Fox Force Five in Pulp Fiction and, years later, Sucker Punch was born. Visually, our eyeballs will explode from the sensory smorgasbord, but I get the feeling it'll be one complex, confusing-ass story to follow. I expect Abbie Cornish will steal the show with her big A sword, and this is coming from the guy going mainly to see Carla Gugino work that corset.

Verdict: Moist With Antici...Pation!

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules I was interested in seeing the first installment of the Wimpy Kid's adventures, but never got around to it. Apparently, it must have a Twilight level of appeal given they've cranked out a sequel almost exactly one year later. This one looks equally silly, but will probably be less enjoyable. I'd say I'd go see it, but I'll just wait another year to see if they'll crank out the remaining three books in a four-film installment.

Verdict: It's Friday, I Don't Want to be Alone.

This weekend promises wet and dreary weather in my area. Perfect for catching some quality theater time. Have a good one!

Large Association of Movie Blogs

Monday, March 21, 2011

MMM: Run Kids Run

Morning stargazers. I caught this catchy little ditty on the way into work this morning. The song has risen to decent heights on both the Rock and Alt Rock charts in this year. Not a bad start for the three-man indie rock band, Foster the People. Keep the good stuff coming fellas.

Foster the People - Pumped Up Kicks

Compared to the video, it's a dreary Monday here. I'm going to keep my head low and hope for sunnier skies tomorrow.

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Friday, March 18, 2011

Trailer Trash: The March 18th Quickie

Another week has flown by and all this blog has to show for it is a Monday Mood Music and now this Trailer Trash. I had the best of blogging intentions this week, but intentions don't write posts apparently. Maybe now that my allergies are under control, I can get on top of my homework assignments and actually have time at night to write about all the new releases I've seen lately.

For now you will have to settle for my take on this week's latest set of new releases. Skimming over them I am surprised to find that, on the whole, they don't suck nearly as hard as those from past weeks. Too bad they will be up against the NCAA tournament. Here's the three major releases according to IMDb that will lose out to March Madness.

Limitless A busy poster and fast-paced trailer really do go a long way towards getting the blood racing for Limitless. It helps to have a slick and sexy Bradley Cooper dominating most of the trailer, too (although a little more Abbie Cornish wouldn't have hurt). I'm not sure how someone so super smart as post-pill Bradley allows himself to get tangled up with a seedy DeNiro, but I guess I'll have to watch and find out.

Verdict: Moist With Antici...Pation!

Paul It's a little disappointing this isn't a biopic about Paul Rudd and how much fans awesome sauce him. This is, however, the latest from Pegg & Frost; the fellas behind Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz. It also stars Seth Rogen who I've nearly had my fill of in recent months. Still, the supporting cast looks promising, and I'm looking for good laughs, not-so-terrible CGI, and lots of spoofing.

Verdict: Moist With Antici...Pation!
P.S. I actually caught this at a sneak peek earlier this week, and it lived up to my hopes. Yay!

The Lincoln Lawyer All right. All right, all right, all right. I'm drawn to William H. Macy's wookie mop as much as I am the tense atmosphere between McConaughey and Phillippe. It may also be that I'm drawn to seeing a mid-80's Lincoln Town Car onscreen; I used to run my pimp game from one back in the day. Still, some unsurprising twist seems to be lurking around the corner which makes me think I can wait to catch this.

Verdict: It's Friday, I Don't Want to be Alone.

I'm also stoked to see Paul Giamatti's Win Win though who knows when it'll get around to opening here. 

Whether it be thanks to basketball or movies, hope everyone has a great weekend!

Large Association of Movie Blogs

Monday, March 14, 2011

MMM: Physics and Physicians

Afternoon stargazers. I would have posted sooner, but my morning was gobbled up by a doctor's appointment. Despite myself, I received a nearly clean bill of health (dang allergies). With that behind me, I can concentrate on the week in front of me, which means it's time to pick a mood music.

Today's song selection is from Vienna Teng, an artist I saw in town less than two weeks ago. This was my second time seeing her live; this time accompanied by percussionist Alex Wong. Vienna is a software engineer turned pianist-singer-songwriter studying to be a capitalist pig-tree hugger. More importantly, give her a mic and a piano and she'll crank out some great music. I could go on, but since this post is already late, I'm going to sit down and let the lady sing.

Vienna Teng - Gravity

In other concert news, I scored tickets to Neil Young's April concert! Anybody got any concerts they're looking forward to in the coming months?

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Friday, March 11, 2011

Trailer Trash: The March 11th Quickie

People, I am pissed! With a nice big 3D kiddie film fiasco opening this weekend, I was all set to see Drive Angry 3D shift over to a smaller, less obnoxious screening area so I could finally enjoy Cage and Fichtner  chewing up the screen for ninety minutes without being disgusted by the lame technological gimmickry. So of course I am teed off to find Drive Angry has disappeared from my town completely! Two weeks and it's vanished. I didn't expect it to have an Avatar-sized following, but even Season of the Witch stuck around longer than that. For this indiscretion, I should boycott 2011 movies altogether!

You, however, know me better than that. I will instead attempt to find solace in one of this week's three new releases listed over at IMDb. Let's check them out. 

Battle: Los Angeles If Resident Evil, S.W.A.T., and Avatar have taught us anything, it's that Michelle Rodriguez looks hot in uniform. However, I wouldn't make that my main reason to catch this. If it's anything like the trailer lets on, B:LA will be two hours of unbridled carnage and destruction. It'll probably be overkill (no pun intended), but I'm due a good bone-rattling movie. 

Verdict: It's Friday, I Don't Want to be Alone.

Red Riding Hood I can't really blame Catherine Hardwicke for the whole Twilight film explosion; if those fans actually cared about the story's quality they'd be cursing her for making such a dazzlingly dull first installment. However, RRH looks visually stunning, even if Oldman's purple pimp-chic outfit seems a bit weird. This weekend, I'll opt to watch to get my wolf fix via BBC America's Being Human.

Verdict: It's Friday, I Don't Want to be Alone.

Mars Needs Moms I feel like every time a new kid's movie starts advertising, I can't do anything but shit all over how painful it looks. Maybe if there were better story ideas than having meatballs rain from the sky, gnomes fighting over turf, or a bunch of funky Martian stealing moms I'd be more amiable to the animated. Then again, they can't all be a Toy Story sequel; sometimes we have to settle for another Cars.

Verdict: Exercise the Right to Cinematic Celibacy.

Can you believe I've only seen three 2011 releases since January?! It's mind-bottling how sad the offerings have been so far. Maybe I can start making up for my lack of posting soon. Any suggestions?

Large Association of Movie Blogs

Monday, March 7, 2011

MMM: Don't Rush Me

Since last week was a flashback to my college years, I decided to reach back even little further this week. In doing so, I'll also be giving a birthday shout out to this week's mood music artist. This particular artist was the bomb diggity back in the day. From right out of the starting gate, she landed in the top ten of the Billboard charts and continued to do so with her next six singles. That's a total of seven, man, seven top ten hits in four years. Not too shabby.

Shortly thereafter, her hold over the Billboard charts slipped, although she continues to top Billboard's Hot Dance Club Songs charts every few years. Currently, she's remastering her Greatest Hits album. Taylor Dane is 49 today. To celebrate, I've decided to play the fourth single from her debut album which became her highest charting single at that time. Enjoy!

Taylor Dayne - Don't Rush Me

Watching her old videos, it's crazy how much Fergie reminds me of Taylor Dane. Considering Fergie covered Taylor's first single, Tell It to My Heart, during her time on Kids Incorporated, we can assume Taylor might have had a little influence over Fergie.

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Friday, March 4, 2011

Trailer Trash: The March 4th Quickie

Welcome to the end of another week, stargazers. I hope you don't mind that I've been quiet this week; trying to recuperate from my Confessions and the Oscars. I do regret skipping last week's Trailer Trash because one of my most anticipated films of the new year opened.

If you guessed Nic Cage's Drive Angry, that's a bingo! Despite having an action chub for this movie since I first saw the trailer back in fall 2010, I will not give in to the shameless 3D pandering! I will patiently wait to view this once it has been bumped into the tiny, slightly colder 2D theater at the very end of the hallway. I just hope it fulfills the insanely, cheesy promise the trailer makes.

But I digress. You're here to get the scoop on this week's new releases. IMDb says we have four major releases which range from comedy to drama for both young and old. But are any worth your dime?

The Adjustment Bureau I'm loving this cast; Matt Damon, Emily Blunt, John Slattery and Terence Stamp make this movie hard to pass up. However, dodgy word-of-mouth and a release date that's run around the calendar more than these characters do in the trailer gives me pause. The quality of March films can be a roll of the dice, but I'm not sure luck will be with me on this one.

Verdict: It's Friday, I Don't Want to be Alone.

Beastly CBS Films is at it again. Who asked them to get into the movie business anyways? Honestly, who watches any of their TV programming. Okay, I do watch The Defenders; but every company has to get at least one thing right. As for the Beastly trailer, Vain prick (yawn) meets wackadoo Olsen twin (yawn) which leads to tutoring by NPH (YAY!) and loving from Efron's leftovers (yyyaaaaaawwwwwn).

Verdict: Exercise the Right to Cinematic Celibacy.

Rango At this point, after super bowl spots, theatrical trailers, TV commercials and internet ads, I'm pretty much Rango'd the fuck out. Honestly, from all that I have seen and read about this, the making of Rango looks far more entertaining than the movie can ever hope to be. At least it ain't in fucking 3D, and for that, I'll give it a pass.

Verdict: It's Friday, I Don't Want to be Alone.

Take Me Home Tonight I swore this was two thirty-something guys trying to recapture their youthful fervor by crashing a high school party after meeting this hot young blonde. Actually, they're all roughly the same age! What the shit? Who done thunk this was the bestest idea? I guess it could be a spoof on old high school flics, or it could (and will) just kill the success of the entire premise. I do love Anna though, so it will be watched...eventually.

Verdict: It's Friday, I Don't Want to be Alone.

 By the looks of things, I'll still be cruising the cheap theaters this weekend. If only, Drive Angry had a 2D showing in my area.

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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Hump: No. 22

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