Wednesday, February 26, 2014
This is the third installment of Edgar Wright's eclectic trilogy starring, most notably, Simon Pegg & Nick Frost. For the sake of time and length of this review, you can Google Wright and his cast to explore their prior exploits. The three letters that best describe this alleged final outing is WTF, which is a running, or should I say, limping, gag throughout the picture. It was hard to review this flick, because, unlike other films which I strictly critique based on their merits, production values, and definitive content, with this movie I find myself at a weird loss. I just did not like the film, not because it wasn't written or acted well that the plot pieces didn't fit together snugly, or even the trademark British quick wit which was founded by the pioneers behind script shows like Monty Python's Flying Circus or series such as Faulty Towers. Again, Google them if you are lost by this point. For me, it just seemed like a goofy concept that didn't really deserve a cinematic treatment. Now, the performances were solid, authentic, and somewhat endearing. The humor was mild but decently effective providing a few moments of sharp and fluid dialogue. However, the story was frustratingly eccentric, bordering on silly, which, believe it or not, I truly think was the goal. Being such a fan of the Brits and their unique and biting comedy, I thought I would utterly enjoy this farce. Rather, I found myself, just slightly entertained but mostly disappointed believing, with this ensemble cast of characters, it would be a truly creative and funny film. I was so very wrong. 1 out of 5 Kernels; an assumed Sci Fi spoof that focuses on a bar crawl among childhood friends, as far as attention span goes it ends up barely crawling at all.
Thursday, February 13, 2014
Alright, before I proceed any further, let me list the two good things about this train wreck of a movie, no pun intended. The score is magnificent & cinematography is absolutely breathtaking. With that said, every other element of this picture is utterly worthless. When did Hollyweird decide that audiences desire to see every hero reduced to a flawed, goofy, clueless, & inept mess who more or less accidentally saves the day & is no one anyone would strive or desire to emulate? Why must we reduce our heroes to the lowest human level rather than wish to rise to theirs? I grew up on the Lone Ranger, a lawman who was sincere, true, & brave. It was fantasy, I knew that even as a child, but it gave me an ideal to aspire to. Can anyone honestly say that, about any of the alleged heroic figures, LA is spewing out today? These reboots seem to be a deliberate reflection of the directors inability to achieve the standards set forth by their muses rather than a true telling of their tales. I thought The Dark Knight series & The Man of Steel set the new lows in turning their heroes into whiny emasculated, human punching bags, but this celluloid pile far exceeds even those travesties. Gore Verbinski, of Pirates of the Caribbean fame, commits career suicide in the most gruesome of ways &, even more disturbingly, invites us to watch all two plus hours of it. Depp, who is the quintessential character actor, delivers the most boring, idiotic, & downright racist performances of his career. Was there no American Indian actors to play the part of Tonto? The rest of the cast is as interesting as watching grass grow & then witnessing a dog defecate on it. Add into that the most blatant anti-American story-line a liberal could imagine in his or her deepest wet dream & you have one of the greatest epic fails in cinematic history, & that includes such stinkers as Tropic Thunder, Vanilla Sky, & Elysium to name a few. 0 out of 5 Kernels: never have I wanted more to use a silver bullet to end my misery while watching this film feces.
Tuesday, February 11, 2014
Kick Ass is back as is much of the original cast plus a few new masked faces, however, original director Matthew Vaughn is out, replaced by Jeff Wadlow (Cry Wolf & Never Back Down, & if you haven't heard of either one of these films, you are in good company). This go round, Kick Ass is not alone in his half ars attempt at crime fighting, rather he is joined by a motley crew of costumed misfits who believe they to can make a difference in the "real" world, including Jim Carrey in his most Un-Jim Carrey role yet. But Carrey is no Cage, which is not necessarily a bad thing anymore, but for this series it makes a tremendous difference. Mortez brings Hit Girl back to gloriously violent & profane life while Johnson's performance is a bit more lackluster & superficial. Plasse excels playing a living train wreck, although most of his scenes are played full on tongue in cheek with great success, the dramatic moments that were needed to flesh out his character completely miss their mark. By the end of the film, you definitely long for Strong's sophisticated & delightfully evil quintessential villain from the first movie. In addition, all the uniqueness, crass, & dark humor of the original is either missing, overreaching, or supplanted with stale, almost silly dialogue & over the top action sequences that are less edgy & more designed for cheap thrills & to satisfy fan-boy cinematic blood lust. The story is solid, but choppy, so it is not told well & even overtly preachy at times. It feels as though they tried to do too much in the time they had to do it in. Overall, compared to the original, it disappoints, but as a companion piece, it somewhat compliment its predecessor & if you are looking for an amusement ride of a flick, this could be considered a win. I thoroughly enjoy the concept, it is both engaging & entertaining, in a disturbing, almost shameful guilty pleasure kind of way. The first delivered like a powerhouse, the sequel feels more like a sidekick. 2 out of 5 Kernels: there are some very cool, truly quotable moments, & Mortez rocks, but neither is enough to truly save the day, or this film from failing to reach its potential.