It’s that time again! I’ve OD’d on crap so now it’s time to play catch-up.
Mike Judge takes a stab at the populace as a whole this time around. A hilarious take on one of the world’s possible futures Luke Wilson, a completely average man, wakes after a failed military experiment to a future that is…dumb. And now he’s the smartest man on earth. Judge’s take on this possible outcome may hit too close to home for some. With jaded looks on commercialism, the dumbing down of America, WWE type fanaticism, and our love of violence we see a future America that is on the verge of extinction. With Wilson attempting to bring it back to a normal view of living there’s a lot that could be learned here for some folks. Not as good as Office Space, but still no slouch either.
Lolita’s Dominique Swain is all grown up. (And boy howdy how she’s grown up!) Dead Mary is the tale of a group of 20-30 somethingâ€™s getting together for an annual meet up. On one bored drunken night they decide to play the ‘Dead Mary’ game, the time honored tradition of standing in a dark bathroom staring into the mirror as you recite ‘Dead Mary’ three times over. While this concept was pretty well covered with the original Candy Man it’s been awhile and they’ve tweaked the concept enough to keep it fresh. Overall, this isn’t a bad flick. The start was a bit laggy but once they got rolling it was a pretty entertaining jumper throughout. There’s some good gore here and some good concepts of guessing who the bad guy is a la The Thing. The cast is solid enough for a group of new actors and there are even a couple of laughs as well. Swain is the standout of the cast, and that’s not just due to the fact she spends a large amount of time in a bikini. (It does help though.) Her acting strong, it looks like she’s going to survive all the controversy surrounding her early role in Lolita. I don’t know if you’d call it a comeback since I don’t know that she went anywhere, but she’s back now and looks like she’ll be a force to be reckoned with.
This is a flick that after the initial trailers hit, I wasn’t expecting much. With promises of jumpy MTV like edits and random violence, it looked like a brainless action romp that was pretty much there just to sell tickets. What we got is a brainless action romp with some jumpy MTV edits…but it’s pretty damn good despite these facts. Jason Statham plays a freelance hit man who’s been poisoned by a synthetic drug that blocks adrenaline, eventually shutting down the heart. The only way to keep himself alive is to keep moving. What this gives us is a movie that once the action starts to roll…it doesn’t let up. There are some great fight scenes, action scenes, car chases, explosions; every thing you love about an action movie. It’s packed to the brim. To round it out, the scenes between the action sequences? Downright hilarious. Statham is perfectly suited to his Chev Chelios roll. Helping him out is Amy Smart who fits in well with her dingy blonde doper girlfriend roll. The standout to Crank however? Dwight Yoakam as Chev’s high balling massage loving Vegas bound doctor. With his straight man delivery to Statham’s panicked questioning, Yoakam brings the funny throughout the film. Topping it off, I wont’ give you details, but Crank has one of the best movie endings I’ve seen in a while. Good stuff.
An aside, rumors say Jason Statham may be in line to be the next Doctor Who. Still not sure how I feel about that.
WOOO! SHIT BLOWS UP!
That’s pretty much the driving plot force behind The Marine. Starring the WWE’s John Cena this is nothing more than another attempt at cashing in on a WWE star’s current popularity. A plot riddled with holes, we see Robert Patrick stealing diamonds, kidnapping Cena’s wife at a chance gas station meeting, and generally being a bull headed bad guy. Cena being an ex-Marine fresh back from Iraq takes off after the diamond thieves to save his wife. Things blow up, people get beat up by many a signature wrestling move, etc. etc. There are glimpses of entertainment here. After all, there’s a lot of shit blowing up. When is that not entertaining? The good parts almost always come from Robert Patrick, but still they are few and far between. The plot stinks period and seeing how the mushy ‘he just got back from Iraq and now his wife is missing’ drama is the prevailing force, Cena just isn’t the man to pull it off. The action sequences are entertaining however and the effects are all over the top and fairly well done. Sorry John Cena, you’re just not Th Rock. Throw Cena in a sci fi actioner as ‘Grunt #2′ where he gets to beat some ass and spout some one liners? I’d watch that. He’s not a bad actor. He’s just not cut out for drama.
All Babes Want to Kill Me
A timeless kung fu tale that tells the story of a man with a strange condition, brought on by eating to many paint chips as a kid, that makes babes want him and want to kill him all at the same time? Sure why not! I stumbled across this one and seeing as I love King Pow probably more than I should, I figured it deserved a shot. This is a comedy completely out of left field; stupid humor for stupid humorâ€™s sake. This does fail to live up to the levels of Kung Pow and that’s both a good thing and a bad thing depending on how you felt about that flick. Regardless, itâ€™s a pretty entertaining oddity none the less. For me the laugh out loud moments weren’t that common but it still made me a crack a smile many times throughout. The stand out performance here was the fat gay brother, Ling Cho (John Schaffer). The few laugh out loud moments that I did have? They all came from this guy. Completely absurd, this still managed to be a fairly funny ride. Worth watching on the late night cable binges if you stumble across it. (Note: This is probably a stoner’s delight!)
Fantastic film, plain and simple. This one doesn’t get a full review because everybody and their brother have already done so and I’m not going to be able to do it any more justice. Having avoided DiCaprio since his days romancing rich ladies on the Titanic, I hesitated on The Departed for a bit. Now that I’ve that I’ve seen it, DeCaprio is officially pardoned for his past transgressions. Jack is back to the Jack we all know and love, Damon is solid as well though I’ve never had an issue with his acting ability and Marky Mark continues to prove to the world that he can indeed act. The cast is outstanding in this one, and the story line is as well. It’s been awhile since a movie has made me yell out an F-Bomb in genuine surprise. Keep watching in the near future as I’ll be delving in to the upcoming Infernal Affairs Boxset that The Departed was remade from. If you havenâ€™t gotten to see this one yet, itâ€™s making the theatre rounds once again to help drum up interested just before the Oscarâ€™s. Go see it. Itâ€™s money well spent.
So there you have it folks! Random thoughts from a movie junkie. Stay tuned next week for a review of Saw III and lord knows what else.