I DID IT! I MADE EVAN CREAN BETTER AT LIFE! [August 26, 2011]

That’s right. I him out, and he changed his muthafuckin’ blog:

Oops-I-Crapped-My-Pants has added a little to his blog’s format. First, he’s finally decided he should give a little bit of his personal opinion in the coverage (a novel concept for a critic). He’s also added three sections at the end of each review: “Originality Rating” (that’s original!), “When to See It” (less original), and “Where to See It” (and that’s the Evan I know!).

This is where you go to see movies.

The originality rating is a scale of one to original based on how original the premise is (hint: they’re all adaptations). This is actually kind of a cool idea, so a tip of the hat to you, Constipated Crean. In the “When to See It” section, he’s not overly specific. It’s pretty much “wait for it on DVD” or “see it in theaters.” Then, there’s “Where to See It” section. Umm…well, see it in the theaters if you should see it in theaters, or watch it in your living room if you have a DVD.

I guess his common readers aren't all that bright.

Alright, so they’re not huge changes, but it’s a start. He’s showing some creativity and some work ethic. And at least he’s given me complete credit for inspiring him to push himself fur — what’s that? He’s deleted the comment I left on both of his blogs and completely ignored my messages for the past two weeks?

Go fuck yourse...I mean, stay classy, San Diego!

Moving on, I feel I should apologize for an inaccurate review in last weeks’ blog. I was wrong about Fright Night. Well, kind of. The movie was excellent, so I was on the money with the review. However, it turns out that the Fright Night drinking game doesn’t work so well with the new Fright Night. While everything Chrisopher Mintz-Plasse says is undeniably homoerotic, he just isn’t in the movie long enough to allow for an adequate buzz. This is rather unfortunate, as, now, I don’t know what to call my drinking game…

Whatever, I'll just drink anyway.

Well, on to the relentless wave of crappy trailers up for review this week. Oh, and you’ll notice I made a few revisions to my format this week…

Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark or Do Scientologists Believe in Ghosts?

I did some research into this topic, and it turns out that yes, they do believe in ghosts. But only alien ghosts. That is to say, they believe they are alien ghosts trapped in human bodies. I guess it’s okay for Katie Holmes to be in this movie, if this movie is about alien ghosts. As Katie Holmes is in this movie, we can conclude this movie is about alien ghosts. While we’re making rough generalizations, let’s pretend the ghosts are the aliens from Alien.

So like this...except with Katie Holmes.

Katie Holmes and Guy Pearce have just moved into a home that has alien ghosts living in the basement. The aliens are able to speak or, at least, communicate telepathically to Holmes and Pearce’s daughter, Sally. They seem to enjoy traumatizing her by doing stupid things like breaking her dolls. Maybe these alien ghosts are seven-year-old boy alien ghosts.

Of course Sally’s parents don’t believe her. If there are two things kids are good for, it’s having crazy imaginations and constantly being wrong. About an hour into the movie the parents will start to believe their daughter. Katie Holmes will be easier to convince, and Guy Pearce will take more time because those are the roles men and women play in movies. They’ll find the weird room in the basement and finally realize they are living in the quintessential gothic mansion, so obviously there are some ghosts somewhere in the house. It’ll be really scary for a bit, but in the end it’ll be okay. If I know Guillermo Del Toro, the seven-year-old boy alien ghosts aren’t really evil; they’re just tortured old souls trying to save the protagonists from true danger (probably the caretaker from the trailer).

He's been down this road a few times.

While it is a well-worn road, Del Toro knows how to drive the fuck out of it. Too bad he’s not directing film. I’d like to think that his involvement will in some way elevate this film above your average Hollywood horror fare, but writing and producing aren’t exactly why we like his movies. Throwing Katie Holmes into the mix doesn’t help much either.

Just ask the Beek.

I could be swayed if it was a good trailer, but the producers made sure that wouldn’t happen. Because the word “don’t” is in the title, they felt like they needed to use it constantly in the title cards. This ended up making their trailer resemble Edgar Wright’s fake Grindhouse trailer. They also felt the need to show the alien-boy-child-ghost creatures. Anytime there’s a CGI creature in the trailer to a horror movie, I automatically take that as the filmmakers apologizing for wasting my time with this movie.

I don’t think this movie will be as bad as the trailer is, and I think that Katie Holmes will be tolerable. Honestly, I really want to like this movie, and I know there is some great buzz surrounding it, but why not just watch The Devil’s Backbone again? It’s the same story arc, better effects, and it’s actually directed by Del Toro.

WHEN TO SEE IT: Best if viewed between 9pm to midnight (night increases the scare factor! Yay!)

WHERE TO SEE IT: Someplace dark and scary! Oh my!

This location works.

WHY EVAN CREAN IS WRONG: You mention in your “originality” section that this movie blatantly stole from The Shining. First, every horror movie since The Shining has stolen something from The Shining.

Even this gem will eventually become a popular horror trope.

While the line “come play with us” was popularized by The Shining, did you check to see if was in the original Don’t be Afraid of the Dark, which aired 7 years before the release of The Shining? I’m gonna hunt down the DVD and watch just in the off chance I get to prove you wrong. No offense.

Our Idiot Brother or Ugh…

A well-meaning but moronic relative has no option but to stay with his family, who tolerates him only because he is family. If you’re capable of reading, you could probably gather that much from the title. This movie’s been done about 500 times before, resulting in various degrees of terrible.

This one falls on the good side of terrible but only somewhat. It has a fantastic cast, Paul Rudd not withstanding, and their presence alone should make this at least better than a Pauly Shore movie. Honestly, this is a premise that could work well, but it just isn’t a Paul Rudd vehicle. This is a cameo performance from Rudd, not a leading man performance. He’s far too goofy, and he’s trying too hard for the laughs. It’s nothing against Rudd as an actor; he plays a great straight man, and I typically him. This, however, isn’t him. Don’t believe me? Watch the trailer. Once you’ve watched it through, go back and imagine Jason Segel in the role instead of Rudd. Now try it with Woody Harrelson. Suddenly it’s a fantastic movie, right? Now try James Franco or Zach Galifianakis. Hell, Danny McBride would have been a better fit.

Brendan Fraser wouldn't have worked, but he hasn't worked since the 90s.

You can’t tell me that they couldn’t get somebody better. With the possible exception of Franco, everyone I just listed has a smaller price tag than Rudd, and that was just off the top of my head.

This is the second film directed by Jesse Peretz. I’m not sure how he got his second, because his first film was The Ex.

Obviously, he sucks at picking leading men.

WHEN TO SEE IT: 4:20

WHERE TO SEE IT: In a drum circle. Or a circle-jerk. What’s the difference?

Other than the fact drum circles can't keep rhythm.

WHY EVAN CREAN IS WRONG: You used an unbearable run-on sentence in your “Who Should See It” section. The English language is mad at you.

Colombiana and FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, DON’T FORGET WHERE YOU CAME FROM!

This seems to be the driving force behind this week’s Colombiana. The line “never forget where you came from” is repeated in various ways throughout the two minute trailer. If the film is anything like the trailer, this line will be said 215 times before the credits roll. Consider yourself warned.

And remember where you came from.

My reaction to Colombiana is similar to Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark. Another acclaimed foreign director tackles subject matter he knows well. Again, however, he’s just writing and producing, not directing. Luc Besson brought us La Femme Nikita, The Professional, and The Fifth Element. He knows how to tell a story about a professional hitman, and he likes strong, kick ass female leads. Sadly, they went with Zoe Saldana instead.

Zoe Saldana is a decent actress. Plus she’s hot, so no complaints there. But who the hell thought Saldana was a good choice for a ruthless hit-person? She’s anti-badass. She takes wholly established badass and makes it otherwise. This is the woman who could make Star Trek‘s Uhura a whiny little love sick bitch.

The real Uhura will cut a bitch.

And don’t think it was just JJ Abrams misguided direction that led to her terrible portrayal of Uhura. She has to cry in every movie she’s in. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a contract killer sob like a little bitch, but, 1:30 into the trailer for Colombiana, she’s balling like a baby. That’s really no way for killer to compose oneself.

So heavy...

It’ll still be an okay movie but lackluster in comparison to what Besson used to create.

WHEN TO SEE IT: October-ish.

WHERE TO SEE IT: On a hovercraft.

WHY EVAN IS WRONG: You referred to a character played by Zoe Saldana as “strong.” Shame on you.

The Debt is Helen Mirren is Supposed to be how old?

In 1966, three special ops agents tracked down a former Nazi doctor for obvious reasons. As far as anyone in the outside world can tell, they are incredibly successful and are still receiving praise for their work in 1997.

Something went wrong back in 1966, though. That something that went wrong is resurfacing 30 years later. It took a while for the shit to hit the fan, but, apparently, it was a giant shit, and it’s hitting a Big Ass* fan.

*Actual company name.

The movie jumps from the 1966 operation-catch-the-doctor and the 1997 shit-hitting-fan-situation. I’m not typically a fan of parallel stories, but both events are essentially the same story, just with a 3o year gap. Obviously, the parts of the movie with Helen Mirren are going to be better than the parts with Sam Worthington, but they are still necessary parts of the same story. That story is: why the hell did they call this movie The Debt?

Maybe tracking Nazi doctors does not pay well.

Well, maybe I’m the only one wondering that. Nobody every really talks about a specific “debt” in the whole trailer, though they do have one of those scenes where someone says, “what happened here never leaves this room!” This is a common dramatic trope, and you can guarantee that, eventually, whatever happened will leave that room. The thing that’s not supposed to leave the room didn’t make it into the trailer, though, so I have no idea what’s going on.

The plot mainly focuses on Helen Mirren and the younger 1966 Helen Mirren played by Jessica Chastain. If you don’t know Jessica Chastain, I have a feeling you will soon. She’s had major roles in three movies this summer, the others being Tree of Life and The Help. While they are all small films, they are all the type of films that will get you noticed. If you don’t know who Helen Mirren is, why the fuck are you here?

Helen Mirren will also cut a bitch.

You don’t really need to know much about their character other than the fact that Helen Mirren (Jessica Chastain) was 25 when she completed the operation 1966, and the rest of the film is set in 1997. That means we are supposed to believe Helen Mirren is 57. She looks good for her age, don’t get me wrong, but she doesn’t quite pull off the decade age difference. To be fair, Jessica Chastain doesn’t pull of 25, either.

WHEN TO SEE IT: Sometime after next Wednesday.

WHERE TO SEE IT: For a film like this, it’s best to view it at an angle. If you’re going to the theater, I’d say about 14 rows back and as far over to the left as you can get. If you’re watching it at home, tilt your TV to the right. You could just sit sideways, but you’d probably end up getting a crick in your neck.

WHY EVAN CREAN IS WRONG: Because he chose to put this review off until next week, and that’s wrong.

Circumstance or Iranian Lesbians

If you need more explanation than that, I don’t really know what to tell you.

Two teenage girls become close and fall in love, which is totally not Kosher…er…Halal. Lesbians are a great vehicle for serious movies, especially foreign ones. Homosexuality is still an edgy topic and a hot button issue. When you talk about homosexuality in an international context, you learn a lot about the culture of that given country. Oh, and two women kissing is far more socially acceptable than seeing two men kissing.

Just ask Madonna and Britney.

It’s actually kind of an interesting study. If you have a drama with two female leads kissing, you have a well-esteemed artsy film, a critically acclaimed foreign film, or even an Oscar contender. If you have two male leads kissing, you have a gay film that will only be viewed by gay men at the Gay and Lesbian film festival.If, however, the male leads are famous heterosexual actors, and they make it very clear they are heterosexuals in real life, then you have Milk or Brokeback Mountain (both, interestingly enough, gay directors).

Heterosexual, thinly veiled death threats are also acceptable.

This probably has to do with the fact that men are more homophobic, and the media glorifies female sexuality. If anything, those two probably play into each other. Possibly the most irksome part about it all is that I react exactly as I’m expected to react: two women kissing is hot, and I’m cool with that. I don’t watch gay films, but I thought Milk and Brokeback Mountain were great.

Oh, right. Circumstance. It’s a decent film, but it focuses too much on the sexy side of lesbianism. Not so bad if you’re a guy but not so good for getting critics to like you. It’s a fine line to walk…

When in doubt, make one character crazy so it's "artistic."

WHEN TO SEE IT: There’s a 5:45 showing somewhere this Saturday.

WHERE TO SEE IT: I’d suggest setting up a big screen TV and watching it in the middle of a Tea Party rally.

WHY EVAN CREAN IS WRONG: You say that people interested in the film should “wait a week, to avoid crowds.” First, that is an improper use of a comma. Second, what crowd is forming for Iranian lesbians?

Besides these guys.

Higher Ground or Vera Farmiga is NOT Our Generations Meryl Fucking Streep

Being subjected to crazy Christianity at a young age, I have to say there are very few accurate depictions of what actually happens in Evangelical type churches. On the one hand, it is batshit insane. On the other hand, the batshit insanity depicted on most TV shows misses the mark entirely. To give some perspective, I walked out of the documentary Jesus Camp thinking, “well, that’s pretty ignorant, but it’s nowhere near as scary as everyone makes it out to be.”

This is far scarier.

What it boils down to is that most religious fanatics are well-meaning, loving people who really are completely ignorant. With some of them, it’s simply that they are uneducated or are uncultured, but that’s not true with everyone, and it’s not the root of the problem. Most people truly need help, and their therapy is completely giving themselves to a church body where they will be systematically dismantled by a ridiculous set of outdated and preposterous ideals. The people themselves, however, are still good people.

Good people. Extremely fucking ignorant good people...

Vera Farmiga, who stars and directs, may be onto something here. This film doesn’t seem to demonize people, but it does shine a critical light onto their religion. It’s pretty much impossible to make a good film about Christianity. Pretty much the only ones I can think of are Saved!, Leap of Faith and The Apostle. I’m not going to start raising a banner for Higher Ground anytime soon, but I applaud the approach. It’s definitely a ballsy first directorial debut for Farmiga, and she may have hit the mark.

As for her being this generation’s Streep? Not in your fucking life…

I'm sure they're referring to Peggy Streep. That would make sense

WHEN TO SEE IT: Wait for VHS to come back in style. It’ll happen…

I'm still holding out for Betamax to return.

WHERE TO SEE IT: At the Angelika off Houston.

WHY EVAN CREAN IS WRONG: You think Vera Farmiga has fans. She’s been in, like, four movies ever.

Brighton Rock or Helen Mirren! Again!

Based on a Graham Greene novel, it’s the story of a murderer who falls in love with a good girl. I think. It was hard to make out what was going on, because the audio was recorded too fucking poorly to hear.

Seriously, I can tell from listening to this trailer for about ten seconds that it will simply be unbearable to watch the whole film. Either the audio designer died on the first day of shooting and couldn’t be replaced for union reason, or they accidentally left him behind at a gas station after the first pre-production meeting.

And he was left to fight off the Apocalypse.

Also, I believe they wasted an entire budget getting Helen Mirren. On the other hand, Helen Mirren is in her late 60s and has two films opening this weekend. What they fuck have you done?

Besides struggle to write this stupid blog on time.

WHEN TO SEE IT: Before you run into Helen Mirren again. You’re gonna need to be caught up on everything, otherwise you’ll look like a jerk.

WHERE TO SEE IT: At a Helen Mirren look alike contest.

WHY EVAN CREAN IS WRONG: Because he failed to review this trailer along with every following trailer I review this week.

The Family Tree is An Inadequate Name for This Pictured

I’m pretty sure this film is about destroying comedy. I know it doesn’t have a plot. I also know it stars Dermot Mulroney, and I know serious filmmakers only consider him when they are considering someone they don’t consider to be a serious actor. I know there are a bunch of other quasi-famous people in this movie, and I know that because in the final 30 seconds of the trailer the feel the need to list all of the actors in the film. I find this practice in trailers beyond annoying. I know you have to say the star’s name in a movie, but, usually, it’s only two or three people, and it’s in their contract. I kind find out who’s in your movie by going to the IMDB page or even looking at your damn movie poster. When you list thirteen people, you’re obviously compensating for something. Especially when one of the people you list is Keith Carradine.

Greatest claim to fame: hasn't died of autoerotique asphyxiation...yet.

Nothing funny happens in this entire trailer for what is believed to be a “dark” “family” “comedy.” There are a few inexplicable and obscene events, but they don’t quite make the mighty leap to funny. It’s really more like a painful flail than a leap. As far as the story is concerned, Mulroney and wife, Hope Davis, are having problems. For something completely original, Davis gets amnesia and reintegrates herself into her family. And Selma Blair makes out with a girl.

Proof that not all lesbianism should be socially acceptable.

WHEN TO SEE IT: Next family reunion.

WHERE TO SEE IT: In tree fort.

Like this one.

If you don’t have a tree fort, you should probably build one just to watch this movie. If that’s too much work, then you should probably skip this movie.

WHY EVAN CREAN IS WRONG: Numerous cranial injuries. It’s not his fault.

Swinging With the Finkels or The World is Coming to an End. The British have Made an Un-Funny Movie.

There was an American involved, and it was Mandy Moore. However, given her hilarious performance in the previously mentioned Saved!, I know Great Britain should have been able to make her at least somewhat funny. They also had Martin Freeman, AKA the next Bilbo, so the problem isn’t the actors. I think the problem is that they’re British, and it’s a movie about sex. British don’t have sex. They procreate purely by mistake.

They claim do it for England. That just brings this to mind and thus prevents them from doing it.

WHEN TO SEE IT: When you need to prove to someone that not every British comedy is funny.

WHERE TO SEE IT: On a British Airways flight to London. Make sure to make plenty of noise and properly display your displeasure at this movies existence. Try to work in the phrase “John Cleese even sucks and eating monkey balls.”

Properly arm yourself to fend off angry Brits.

WHY EVAN CREAN IS WRONG: It’s unavoidable law of nature.

Redemption Road or Country and Blues and Twist Endings, Oh My!

There’s this kid who plays the blues really well, but he doesn’t like playing on stage. This guy’s grandfather or some relative died, and he figures he should collect on his share of the estate to pay off a money lender. The money lender was pretty big idiot because he lent the guy money to start a band. Loan sharks are known for giving money to gamblers, but a musician? Now that’s pissing your money away.

Anyway, I guess when someone is sent to tell you to collect on an estate, they have to drive you across country to that estate. I’ve never heard of this before, but it has to be true because that’s what happens in this movie. The guy doing the driving is Michael Clarke Duncan, who has the deepest voice of any man on earth.

Sorry, James. I believe he has you there.

The whole trailer I’m waiting for him to break out into song with this bluesy guitar player guy, but that never happens.

Instead, the movie suddenly turns into an action movie, and Michael Clarke Duncan gets shot. Okay, I don’t see him get shot, but they show a gun fight and then declare that there is a twist ending. I would assume that Duncan takes a bullet for bluesy guy.

WHEN TO SEE IT: When your roommate has somehow fucked with the forces of nature such that every good movie that ever existed has completely and irreversibly ceased to be, leaving only this film and The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. Watch The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants first.

And then you have to see the sequel.

WHERE TO SEE IT: Living Room

WHY EVAN CREAN IS WRONG: I blame the public education system of this country and, more importantly, it’s political leaders.

Jerusalem Countdown or Lee Majors and The End of Time

They’ve statistically proven the end of the world is coming! Or maybe someone is doing something to force Apocalypse! Truth lies within Revelations!

And manbearpig exists!

I don’t think this is a super religious film. I think it’s just an action film using Revelations as a catalyst. I’m not sure if that makes it better or worse. The existence of Lee Majors in a the movie definitely makes it better, though. Hey, if I’m facing the end of days, I would want Six Million Dollar Man by my side!

Wait, can I change? I want Rose McGowen by my side.

WHEN TO SEE IT: Before the Apocalypse.

WHERE TO SEE IT: As I’m sitting on my spaceship, watching the Apocalypse on Earth. With Lee Majors. Or possibly Rose McGowen.

WHY EVAN CREAN IS WRONG: Mainly, I just want the guy to write me back. That’s all.

Politics of Love is Two Years Behind the Curve

This is a romantic comedy about… the 2008 presidential campaign? Nothing in that sentence is appealing. That’s just reliving a painful experience for all of us; what a terrible setting for a romantic comedy. If you’re liberal, you’ll just look back and think how far we haven’t come. If you’re conservative, you get to relive your party getting burned to the ground by one moronic individual. If you’re libertarian, you just get a reminder of how shittily Ron Paul will be treated by the media yet again.

"Those cameras, are they even turned on?"

Pretty much for everyone in this country, we’ll all take a look and realize that each of the life-altering, mind-blowing promises made by all parties were basically along the lines of the bullshit you spew in a job interview, multiplied by 11. And someone thinks this is a good setting for a romantic comedy? Who are you and why do you hate us?

WHEN TO SEE IT: 2008

WHERE TO SEE IT: When you’re hanging out with your bipartisan pals! Unless I happen to be one of them!

WHY EVAN CREAN IS WRONG: You know what Evan? You’re not wrong. In fact, I’m starting to think you’re not even real. You’re just a name I’ve assigned to my own psychosis. I don’t hate you, I hate myself. You’re just an inexplicable target of my aggression. And your blog is still lame. Cheers, mate!

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