Sarah Palin is really good at propaganda [TT Destruction – July 15, 2011]

Hmm… this seems kinda similar to another movie coming out this week.

This Week, I Piss Off Everyone [July 15, 2011]

Damn, there’s a fuck-ton of movies coming out this week! I guess the return of Harry Potter didn’t scare anyone off. I’ve got a lot to talk about, so let’s just get on with this shite.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II is Going to be a Disappointment

Spoiler Alert! Harry’s a pussy. Which is rather fitting considering his name.

Because cats are fuzzy. Duh.

Throughout all seven novels, Harry Potter bumbled his way through adventure after adventure, constantly relying on one of three things to save him: 1) random abilities he “magically” had, such as speaking to snakes or being a natural at flying a broom; 2) his friends, who actually studied and worked for their abilities and often died to protect him; 3) pure fucking luck. Read the rest of this entry »

Fading of the Actors [July 8, 2011]

Welcome to the week of unwanted movie stars. There’s apparently been a dearth of talent in Hollywood as of late, so, this weekend, we get Jason Bateman, Jennifer Aniston, Kevin Spacey, Jamie Foxx, and Jason Sudkieis all in one film. The other major opening this week? It’s a fucking Kevin James vehicle. I can’t believe it’s that hard to find watchable actors in LA; go to lunch at any restaurant, and you’ll find fifteen of them working the floor. Apparently, new actors have no guarantee, so it’s better to squeeze as much money as possible out of people we already can’t stand.

D. Suth, you aren't in the trailer, so your existence in this group is excused

What’s that? A lot of people like Jason Bateman, you say? Name one good movie he’s starred in since Juno. Name one good movie he starred in before Juno. Come to think, he didn’t even fucking star in Juno. Suffice to say that Jason Bateman does not make a good leading man. Jennifer Aniston became too irritating somewhere around her second or third post-Pitt-celebrity-fling. Both of those actors are relentlessly clinging on to their glorious TV sit-com notoriety just as Foxx and Spacey are continuously singing the woes of their respective Oscar curses.

Doesn't help when you take roles as characters from Chapelle Show.

Jason Sudkieis, like everyone associated with SNL in the past 5 years, should probably change his name if he wants to be respected as an actor. I haven’t mentioned Colin Farrell, but that’s only because I don’t think he knows what he’s doing in this film either. Probably why he donned a ridiculous disguise and his name doesn’t initially show up on the IMDB page for horrible bosses.

And, then, we have Kevin James talking to animals. Fuck it. Let’s get on with this crap.

Horrible Bosses or Strangers on a Train With Two More People and No Hitchcock

Hitchcock’s early masterpiece is revisited. Except there are 3 parties exchanging hits. And all parties are in agreement on the deal. And, instead of killing girlfriends, they’re killing bosses (though, really, what’s the difference?).

Okay, so, beyond the basis of the plot, it’s not really like Strangers on a Train. It’s also nothing worth watching. This here is what the business calls a high-concept, package deal. Instead of artistic endeavor, this film is made simply by piling big names together with a ridiculous, over-the-top premise.

For examples, see every Schwarzenegger comedy.

Now, I’m not typically a huge fan of high-concept (read: Hollywood) films, but, if you’re gonna do it, try to come up with something at least a little bit creative.

Did I mention Schwarzenegger comedies?

We’ve seen the Strangers on a Train killer-switch done enough in the past and with a bit more ingenuity. Horrible Bosses‘ big twist to the plot? “Hey, let’s have three guys switching murders instead of the usual two.” For a producer, this is a brilliant idea, as it allows room for another two stars (an extra killer and an extra kill-ee) to be packaged into the movie. Good thing they went out of their way to find two strong actors. That third group is Jennifer Aniston and Charlie Day. I actually like Day, as do most people who watch(ed only the first 2 seasons of) It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Nobody else knows who he is, though.

The trailer feels like it’s preposterous bullshit heaped into a two and a half minute train wreck. I can’t figure out why Day, Bateman, and Sudkieis would ever be friends. They seem like they have as much in common as Led Zeppelin and a garden gnome, but I guess we’ll accept it for the time being. The trailer shows instances of each boss harassing our protagonists: Colin Farrell tells Sudkieis to fire the fat people and the disabled; Kevin Spacey forces Bateman to drink on the job; and Jennifer Aniston sexually harasses Day. Sudkieis and Day could take their respective superiors to court and get a good six figures in settlement money, but, instead, they decide to kill each other’s employers. Sounds smart to me. Throw in Jamie Foxx as your murder consultant (because he’s black, duh), and you’ve got yourself a hit. There is a good line at the end about drag racing a Prius, but, when the only laugh comes as the button of the trailer, it’s typically not a good sign.

Despite my ranting, this is going to be a big hit because it followed the Wild Hogs code.

Donning a leather jacket makes you a biker?

Wild Hogs had zero premise, starred four actors going down hill, and made 250 million worldwide. Why? Because the stars consisted of a TV sitcom star, a (former) A-list actor, an independent film star, and a black comedian. Everyone with half a wit watched the trailer and said, “why the hell are these four guys in a movie together?” Everyone else said, “oh! It’s *insert name of one of the four stars here*. That guy makes movies I once enjoyed! I’ll see that.” It didn’t matter that their careers were nearly over. They had names we had once heard of before.

Someday "the Beek" will have that effect. Someday...

Horrible Bosses took the Wild Hogs code to the next level. They have sitcom stars from three completely different eras and target audiences (Aniston, Bateman, Day). They have two former Oscar winners, one of which fills the “black comedian” gap. Hell, they are even trying to reel in the documentary audience by casting Steve Wiebe, the subject of King of Kong. I guess if you can play Donkey Kong, you can act.

If it weren’t for the summer competition (which is actually rather lackluster this year), I would expect this movie to surpass Wild Hogs, which was a spring release. Still, it’ll make an easy 200 million.

Read the rest of this entry »

Does the President Know where Bo is?! [TT Condensed – July 1, 2011]

Because if he doesn’t, I’m sure there’s a kid somewhere in California who has a grand adventure ahead of him.

A Crappy Week in the Middle of Summer [July 1, 2011]

HO-LY SHIT! I was totally on the money with Cars 2. Honestly, I thought most critics were still gonna love it. After all, they have a tendency to gargle Pixar’s balls like Scope, so why would this movie be any different? Thank you, Richard Roper, for pointing out what I always thought was the fucking obvious: “Of all the great Pixar films and franchises, Cars is, perhaps, the most difficult to embrace, mainly because the characters are, well, cars.

A.O. Scott agrees with me, too, but he's kind of a d-bag who doesn't like movies.

This just further proves the frivolous nature of being a real movie critic. You guys don’t need to go to Rotten Tomatoes; you’ve got me, and I’m batting a thousand without even stepping foot in a theater. Read the rest of this entry »

Conan O’Brien has Balls of Bronze [TT Condensed – June 24, 2011]

Six of them in this video.

Cars Don’t Have Hands. Or penises. To my knowledge. [June 24, 2011]

There are some weeks where I write long, rambling introductions to my post.

Cars 2  or Pixar Jumps the Shark

We are entering dark times in the movie world. It appears Pixar has not only run out of steam but sold their soul in the process.

In the summer of 2006, Pixar released the underwhelming Cars, and I began to fear for the worst. For starters, the animation lagged behind what they had previously achieved in The Incredibles and Finding Nemo. Add to that a weak story set in a completely unrealized world (more on that in a minute), and you get Pixar’s’ poorest reviewed movie to date.

Thankfully, they proved me wrong by following Cars with Ratatouille, Wall-E, and Up!, three undeniably fantastic movies.  Then, they burned out, giving us an unnecessary and, at times, emotionally-cheap Toy Story 3.

How to make a theater of children (and adults) cry.

Still out of original content, Pixar decided to revamp yet another series for their 2011 release. That, in itself, isn’t such a bad thing. They’ve had so many fantastic ideas, it is understandably hard to pump out a fresh story year after year. This is especially true when you consider that all of their scripts are pretty much created within Pixar, and they hardly bring in anyone outside during the creation process.

Otherwise they would have totally produced the script

Sequelizing one of their good films could be fun! I loved Toy Story 2 (though 3 was pushing it). I was hooked with the Incredible family, maybe we can see them in another overtly hegemonic adventure? No? Well, Finding Nemo had a gorgeous setting and classic characters, maybe a Finding Dory? That’s a no, too? You’re gonna go with Cars? Fuck.

You see, there’s a fundamental problem with the Cars universe which prevents it, albeit subconsciously, from being wholly accepted by the audience: cars don’t have hands.

Another way to describe this problem is to say that humans do not exist in the world of Cars. Both really lead to the same question:

Where the fuck did all of this come from?

Read the rest of this entry »