Archive for the ‘3 Mutant Smileys’ Category

Bride Wars

When I first heard the title Bride Wars, my mind brought forth images of meringue-encased women fighting in steel cages over who got the first choice between taupe, eggshell, offwhite, or beige for the wedding invites.  Sadly, this was not the case.  It was instead a fairly standard romantic comedy, or so I thought.

While on the surface, it’s a standard love story plot with a minor twist, it is, in fact, an educational video showcasing the perils of wedding planning, and as such, is a must watch for any guy who has any inclination of getting married and settling down at some point in his life.

The instructional nature of the movie takes men through all the stages that a bride experiences during the planning stages of a wedding, from the initial, slightly touched phase, where everything is rainbows and puppies and white doves, all the way through to batshit insane, when the best thing you can do is agree.  Unless of course you are supposed to have an opinion about something which is a polite way of them finding out which of the two options being presented should be thrown out.

Now, what I found most interesting about this edutainment, was not the content itself, but rather the response of the average guy when watching.  This all depends on where they are.  The ones who are dating or single think it is a most amusing over-exaggerated piece of mockery about the excesses of the wedding industry and the fears they play upon.  Those who have found themselves with fiancée, spend the first half of the movie going “done that, been there, hmmm.” And the second half thinking “shiii-iiit, what the hell have I gotten myself into.”  Those who survived the pre-wedding madness look at it and go “they almost got it right, but perhaps they had to tone down the crazy a little bit to make it more believable to the non-wedded.”

The film is entertaining, and with Anne Hathaway and Kate Hudson as the leads, at least there is eye-candy, especially during the bachelorette party, and if you’re going to have to sit through this to earn brownie points it is nice to know there will be some reward.

As this is a chick flick and not a dodgy movie, there isn’t a dodgy rating.  Instead, what we have is a brownie point system – as in, how many brownie points watching this with your significant other will earn you.  For Bride Wars, this is a little tricky to score.  If, when the inevitable “I wasn’t like that, was I?” question is asked, you are able to remove any trace of sarcasm from your answer, this one probably rates equivalent to flowers.  If you can’t, you may as well follow your answer up with “and when I said those pants didn’t make you look fat, I lied.”  After all, if you’re going to be sleeping in your car, at least make it for something worthwhile.

Bride Wars is, fortunately, relatively rewatchable, scoring a 3 mutant smileys out of five.  I say fortunately, as it’s worth watching a number of times to remind yourself why you’re going to make sure not to screw up because you’re never voluntarily putting yourself through that madness ever again.

This educational product should be mandatory viewing with every engagement ring sold.  And Honey, if you’re reading this, you were nothing like the brides in Bride Wars.  I enjoyed every minute of wedding planning and I’d happily go through it again with you. (I’m so glad tone of voice isn’t conveyed by text).

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.

Tank Girl

I’m always a little nervous when people suggest movies to review. I never know whether they think they are asking me to review a cool dodgy film, or whether I’ve pissed them off and they are inflicting another Shoot ‘Em Up on me.  Fortunately, I’d already seen Tank Girl, so I did have some idea of what I was getting into.

Now, the last time I saw Tank Girl I was young and foolish.  Now, I’m just as foolish, but it has been a number of years since I watched Tank Girl, and age dims memories.  I remembered the kangaroos, I remembered the comic book interludes, I even remembered the awesome broadway style hooker dance sequence to “Let’s Do It”.  What I didn’t remember was the proliferation of Australian accents.  Now, some accents are lyrical, sexy and gentle on the ears.  The Aussie twang is none of these.  There are worse sounds, like a vulture that arrived last at the animal carcass, but those aren’t present in Tank Girl.

Despite this, Tank Girl is watchable, especially because it includes Jet Girl, the subject of boyhood fantasies everywhere.  But, even cooler (depending on your definition of cool) is the sentient tank.  Since watching this I often imagine sitting in an armchair on the roof of my car while it blows up the people who piss me off in traffic.

It’s hard to find a moment in Tank Girl that isn’t dodgy.  From the mutant mangaroos to the kick-ass weapon that sucks the fluid from a body and turns it into potable water.  And yet, the dodginess tried to tread the line between completely over the top and genuine superhero/comic-book movie.  This should always have gone for over the top and the bits that weren’t dragged it down a little yielding a score of 4 on the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man Index.  The dodgiest moment in Tank Girl was relatively easy to pick.  it had to go to the choreographed hookers dancing to “Let’s do it”  The  movie is worth owning just for this scene.

As I’ve mentioned before, there are a number of Australian accents which detract from the viewing experience.  however, if you can get past this the film presents an enjoyable, if disjointed, show.  And while it’s not going to be the first choice on most peoples list, it is worth a watch.  Tank Girl scores a respectable 3 Mutant Smileys.

On we go to the part that occasionally I really dread.  Picking a memorable quote in some movies is almost like finding a virgin at Mardi Gras.  There are plenty of lines that look like they might be suitable, but on closer examination you find that you’ve been duped.  Fortunately, Tank Girl has a line that perfectly sums up my feelings about poetry, especially that taught at school. “Look, if you want to torture me, spank me, lick me, do it. But if this poetry shit continues, shoot me now, please.”

Tank Girl is a pleasant diversion if you are a fan of mindles violence, skimpy outfits and can put up with the Australian twang.  Otherwise, you may want to skip it.

(<—-  Buy it here if you want to watch it, because no self-respecting video store would have a copy on it’s shelves.  I’ve got a copy, but then self respect doesn’t really have any part to play in my DVD collection)

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)

Desperado

Desperado is the epitome of Gun Porn.  All the essential elements are present. Something bad happens to the hero and he sets out for revenge. There is a startling revelation that the main villain is related to the hero. There is great eye candy in the form of Selma Hayek. And most of all, there are lots and lots of gunfights.

Where Desperado really excels is that the gunfights feature guitar cases and knives. At one point knives are brought to a gunfight and the only reason the knife wielding assassin loses is weight of numbers. The machine gun guitar cases and rocket launcher guitar case in the climactic fight scene are a nice touch, but, they probably should have been introduced sooner so we could get maximum enjoyment out of the surprise factor.

There are only two criticisms I can level at Desperado. The speaking parts are terrible. Antonio Banderas is really good at pulling off Dark and Moody, as long as he doesn’t try to talk about it, and Selma Hayek, well, the parts that you can understand through her accent, you wish you didn’t. The second is that the best gunfight happens much too early in the film. The first fight sequence, as described by Buscemi (the only worthwhile actor in the film) is live action cartoon. The second fight scene in the bar is better choreographed than a broadway musical, and unfortunately, after artistry like that, the only way is down. Perhaps Rodriguez should have started with the guitar case gunfight and ended with the massive bar shoot out.

I was tempted to give Desperado 5 Stay Puft Marshmallow Men, but after it shot it’s load way too early, the let down resulted in it only scoring a 4. The dodgiest moment definitely goes to the slow motion dance sequence, sorry, gun fight, that takes place around the bar. Banderas manages to shoot someone behind his back, twice, just in case you thought the first time was a fluke.

Unfortunately, the bad acting and early climax really hurts Desperado in the rewatchability rating. If I could stop the movie after the second bar fight (and I can, but I really have to rate the entire movie, not just the bits I can watch repeatedly) it would get a wild screaming 5. Instead, because you have to pretend that you care about the rest of the movie so as not to hurt its feelings, it gets a whimpering 3.

Perhaps, there would be a memorable quote if the thick spanish accents were understandable. So, Quentin Tarantino should get one by default. Which, he doesn’t. Just because you can understand what he says doesn’t mean it’s memorable enough to be repeated.

As far as gun porn goes, Desperado is one of the better ones.  It’s watchable and has enough pretty lights that brain function is not required.  If all you want a couple of hours entertainment, get a copy of Desperado.

<–Buy it here or armed gunmen will execute your goldfish (affiliate link)

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