Archive for the ‘3 Stay Puft Marshmallow Men’ Category

Avatar

I finally managed to get my grubby paws on a copy of Avatar.  I wanted to see what all the hype was about.  Why this was “The Film of the year” and more importantly why so many people were surprised that it didn’t win the Oscar (although, that says a whole lot more about the people who thought this was a great movie than it does about the quality of the movie itself)

As you can tell from the ratings, I didn’t think all that much of Avatar.  It was enjoyable, but I have a large number of, well, let’s say comments, because I’m in a good mood and don’t want to scare you all off just yet.

Let’s start with the length of the film.  It did not need to be what felt like 6 hours.  At least half the film was taken up with pointless scenery and “look what we can do with computers”  If they had’ve cut even half the pointless scenes out of the film they could have saved an hour and 100 million dollars, and no-one would have cared.

Normally, I like simple to follow plots, which Avatar has.  But the hype around how great the film was centered on the storyline as well as the visual effects.  So, let’s look at that.  The damaged hero get’s a new lease on life and learns how to live again has been done so many times that it doesn’t even count as a plot anymore.  Clicheperhaps might be a better.

But these are minor gripes.  What kind of a God complex must humans have for us to force all intelligent life in the universe to conform to a bipedal humanoid shape.  Surely it’s possible on a planet that doesn’t seem to have any apelike creatures and that most of the lifeforms encountered have 6 limbs, that the dominant lifeform would not be human shaped.  (only having four fingers does not count as a significant enough difference).

Perhaps, the reason is more mundane.  Maybe, the audience is unable to identify with anything that isn’t a recognisable human derivative.  This really doesn’t bode well for when we finally make contact with the intelligent unicellular blobs from Alpha Centauri.

My final comment on Avatar.  Why were they on Pandora.  To obtain a mineral.  The name of the mineral, Unobtanium.  Fuck.  At least use a name with 37 syllables, not something taken directly from “The Core”.

Perhaps I should have seen Avatar at the cinema in 3D, but I feel that 3D is merely a gimmick designed to distract the audience from a dull uninspired movie, and given my reaction to the television version, I’m unlikely to change this opinion any time in the near future.

If you’ve got nothing better to do, go watch Avatar.  But you’d be better off watching a real alien movie like “Alien” or Evolution.

Mr. & Mrs. Smith

Mr. & Mrs. Smith is really a chick flick masquerading as gun porn. The plot is your standard boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl back, although in the true spirit of gun porn, it reads more along the lines of boy meets girl, boy and girl try to kill each other, boy and girl makeup and kill everyone else, using a selection of guns, knives and a minivan.

The action sequences in Mr. & Mrs. Smith are fairly standard fair, and wouldn’t really qualify as gun porn if it wasn’t for Angelina Jolie’s double handed technique.  It get’s used lovingly on a sniper rifle, with pent-up aggression on a shotgun and, my personal favourite, while she’s on her knees.

Even so, Mr. & Mrs. Smith would have been a forgettable punctuation mark in both careers, if it wasn’t for the rumours of Brad Pitt trying out Anglina’s double handed technique himself.  Given the subsequent breakup of Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston, I think it would be safe to say that he liked it.

As I’ve said before, Mr. & Mrs. Smith is standard action fair and scores a 3 on the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man scale. As far as dodgiest moment goes, well, where to start. I could talk about the 2 armouries in the house, one in the oven and one below the garden shed. I could mention the “Strip Search Tango” or the awesome gunbattle/fight scene between Mr and Mrs Smith that destroys their house (the scene that includes Mrs. Smith sliding around on her knees with both hands on a shotgun). The moment when they first realise that they are competing agents, or the final battle in the department store also qualify. And while all of these compete adequately for the title, not one of them could compare to the winner of this coveted award.  Brad Pitt dumping the prettiest Friends girl to hook up with the Hollywood Doorknob gets the award for the dodgiest moment, clearly he was impressed with the way she handled his gun.

Mr and Mrs Smith, is a chick flick. But, that doesn’t stop it from being eminently entertaining and rewatchable, achieving a 3 on the rewatchability index. The best part about watching it again is that on DVD, you can skip all the annoying slow plot building moments and go straight to the double handed gun porn that is the real reason you’re watching it.

There are a number of comments about marriage in this film which, I am not allowed to like as I quite enjoy being married, although I can see how they would appeal. However the best one is probably the most cynical line from the film too. “Happy endings are just stories that haven’t finished yet.”

We all know that Mr. & Mrs. Smith is a chick flick, but, you’re going to have to burn off some brownie points to watch it. But it’s worth the small amount that it will require, and who knows, at the end of it you may even get some of them back.

(<— Normally there would be an affiliate link here, but, you either already own this one, or have no intention of buying it, so putting an affiliate link in would just be a colossal waste of everyone’s time)

Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun Li

Street Fighter: The legend of Chun-Li was really up against it when I started watching. After all, it had serious prejudice to overcome after the last time a movie was made based on the game. The real injustice of the last Street Fighter film wasn’t that it “starred” (I wish text could convey sarcasm better) Jean Claude van Damme, but that it was the last film Raul Julia made. But, back to the question at hand. Could Street Fighter: The Rise of Chun-Li wipe the stain?

Well, No. But it’s not really Street Fighter: The Rise of Chun-Li’s fault. The only way to wipe the stain of the original would be to go back in time and prevent Jean-Claude van Damme from becoming an actor and that would lead to the time-cops hunting you down and oh god it’s a whole bad 90’s movie flashback. And here I thought I’d repressed all those memories.

The plot, is fairly standard Kung-Fu Mobster movie fair, with a little woo-woo thrown in to explain the force balls and stuff in the fight scenes. Basically, Chun-Li’s father is captured by the mob and forced to work for them in return for his daughter staying safe. Chun-Li vows revenge and the rest is fight scenes, explosions and really bad attempts to justify calling the movie Street Fighter. In fact, if it wasn’t for the character names, there would be nothing to link the movie to the game at all.

The film doesn’t really live up to the promise of the video game, and even though fight scenes and laughable intrigure abound, I was unable to give it higher than a 3 on the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man Scale. The dodgiest moment in the film was not a scene as is usually the case, but rather a plot point. Why did the writers have to make it some mystical thing about how Bison became all evil. He couldn’t just be a monster. Noooo. He had to remove all the good things about his soul and put them into his unborn daughter so she could conveniently be used against him later.

Deciding on what to rate this for rewatchability was tricky. I couldn’t in all fairness rate it lower than Dragonball Evolution but then I see that I rated DBE as a 3 and I have to ask “What the fuck was I thinking?” It should have been a 2 at best, then I could have rated this as a 2. And then I remembered. I don’t need to be fair. i don’t even need to be consistent, I just need to not waste anymore time thinking about a movie who’s only redeeming feature was at least it didn’t star Jean Claude van Damme.

Unless you feel the need to feel the full effects of time stretching, when 5760 seconds feels like 2 days, I wouldn’t waste any time watching it.

And Remember, we watch them, so you don’t have to.

Dragonball Evolution

Given that I’ve never really gotten into the Dragonball Z cartoons even though they looked like something that should appeal, I probably shouldn’t have rented Dragonball Evolution.  In retrospect, it was a good thing that I rented it as having it in my DVD collection would be kind of a black mark, and, I’m running out of spaces to put those.

It was watchable, aided by Chow Yun-Fat reprising his all knowing master role from Bulletproof Monk, with a suitable side of dodginess thrown in for good measure.  The prevalence of super- slowmo shots did make me wonder whether the director of 300 had got his claws into another movie, but then I remembered why I didn’t like the cartoon.  It was a result of the super-slowmo drawings which allowed 2 minutes of action to stretch into a 20 minute cartoon.  But, at least most of the slowmo was confined to the fight scenes which made them interesting.

The one thing that did bother me for the whole movie was how Piccolo managed to escape his imprisonment.  After all, seven mystics (hmm, 7 mystics, 7 dragonballs, coincidence or Deus Ex Machina, you decide) gave their lifes to cast the spell that imprisoned him, and yet, here he is floating around trying to get the dragonballs and rule the earth.  And seriously, Piccolo, what kind of a supervillain gets named after the smallest instrument.  Of course he’s going to become a supervillain, he’s got to compensate for something.

I was torn about how dodgy Dragonball Evolution really was.  On the one hand, it probably deserved 5 smiley of dodginess, there was energy being shot from people’s hands, cool fight scenes, and in what was almost the crowning moment, a teenage boy transforming into a giant ape and the “Shadow Crane Strike”.  But, on the other hand, it didn’t really look like much more than a live action version of the cartoon, complete with dodgy orange gi.  So, it got 3 smileys.  The dodgiest moment was a fight scene in which Goku manages to take out 7 kids (there’s that number again) without throwing a single punch or kick, which was an interesting take on defending yourself.

The rewatchability rating was a lot easier, and while it will hopefully never find it’s way into my DVD cabinet, it was worth a watch.  There were amusing fight scenes, reasonable eye candy, and a green villain that reminded me of  locust.  But, I wouldn’t rush out to watch it again, or at least, watch it again while sober.

The only memorable quote from this movie was “The first rule is… there are no rules”  The problem is, I know that this is not the first movie to use it.  Jim Carrey says it in Yes Man right before he punches out the wrong guy.  And even then I didn’t think it was the first time I’d heard it.  You’d think IMDB or Google would be able to help me out here, but no.  So if any of you know, please post it in the comments and end my suffering.

All things considered, Dragonball Evolution was a pleasant diversion, but it’s unlikely to prove to be a diversion after this.

And remember, We watch them, so you don’t have to.

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