Friday, December 3, 2010

Splice (2010): To see or not to see? That is the question.

The theater release of Splice may have slipped by you unnoticed in June of 2010. Frankly I wouldn't be surprised if you also missed the DVD and On Demand release just a few months later. But the point is that it's here now for all to see. The question very few people are waiting to have answered remains: Should you see it?

While I definitely would not have gone to see this movie in theaters, I did watch it recently over my Thanksgiving vacation with some family members because it happened to have a longer running time than a documentary on vampires, which, when you're paying $5 to rent it through your cable provider, is an important thing to take into account.

There I was, snuggling with a steaming hot cup of cocoa, fuzzy socks on my feet, with my spouse, aunts, uncles and cousins all around me, watching the opening credits to Splice.

The first thing I'm reminded of, is Splice stars the NYC native, Adrien Brody, most famous for winning his Academy Award for Best Actor in The Pianist (2002). Adrien Brody is like a rare fruit that ripens with age, now starring in such films as Predators (2010), in which he shared the spotlight with the disturbingly surreal, Topher Grace. Logically his next move in cinema had to be strategically planned. Hence Splice.

Clive (Brody) and Elsa (Sarah Polley) play genetic engineers. They also happen to be romantically involved and living together. N.E.R.D (lol at the level of cleverness) is the evil money hungry corporation they work for.

In the beginning of the movie we are introduced to their primary project: two globular beings that look like large digesting stomachs made of cellulite. Elsa and Clive explain that they have created a pair, one male and one female, called Fred and Ginger. They want to merge these pulsating stomachs with human DNA to create a hybrid being in order to revolutionize science as we know it. N.E.R.D. forbids this, not surprisingly, and I'm sure you can guess what happens next.

That's right my dear Watson! With a little psycho prodding from Elsa (more to come there my friends), Clive agrees to do it anyway in secret. In a huge corporate funded research facility??? With hundreds of other workers all around??? What's that...oh of course, there's an abandoned wing that's not in use. Phew, how convenient for our stars.

Although many of the actual details are left out of this plot line, we are led to the conclusion that Elsa has injected her DNA into the creature for their experiment. We'll skip forward a bit to the birth of Elsa's sort of clone sort of hybrid baby which she names Dren (get it...it's N.E.R.D. spelled backwards!!!).

When Dren first appears (congrats Elsa! It's a girl) she mostly looks like a fleshy monkey/rabbit. They soon learn that she has a toxic poison stinger on her tail. Gee, I wonder if that's going to come back at all later in the story?? Oh, also she has retractable wings.

Basically Dren grows super super fast, maturing into a teenager in an undisclosed amount of time, but we're pretty sure it's weeks. Eventually they can't keep her in their not so secret lab and she's moved to a barn in the country. This is where we learn that Elsa is a psycho bitch because she suffered some kind of abuse from her mother there. Again...it's not quite clear what happened. This plot is just riddled with holes that, like all over our nations highways, never seem to be filled.

In order to place more emphasis on Elsa's traumatic past, they show her acting very bipolar with Dren as she matures. She takes away her pet cat, and even cuts off her stinger one minute, and then gives her presents and makeovers the next. Clive sees Elsa unraveling, particularly in an awkward dance montage with Dren when he realizes the truth about where she came from.

How many awkward/uncomfortable scenes can there be in this one movie? A lot, and French Canadian director, Vincenzo Natali, saves the best for the final act.

In a moment of awkward passion, Clive has sex with Dren. Not surprisingly, Elsa walks in on them and storms off in the couple's Gremlin (sweet car). You can imagine the next scene between Clive and Elsa.

Clive: (Walks into apartment. Elsa is sitting at the table) "Soooo...are we cool? I mean you do share the same DNA. How do you feel about waffles this morning?"

Needless to say, after the inter species sex, Elsa and Clive decide to "terminate" their science experiment. When they get to the abandoned barn they find Dren dead. Much like you're supposed to do with any type of medical or electrical waste, they just dump her a hole out back.

The pesky supervisor from N.E.R.D. learns about their little project and follows them to the country where he insists on seeing Dren. Who would have predicted that they wouldn't actually be able to hide Dren in that huge research facility without a bunch of people finding out???

Just as they tell The Man that she's buried out back, Dren swoops into the scene. Death has changed her a little. Mostly because she's now a he. Clive an Elsa probably should have taken into account that Ginger, the female blob from the beginning changed sex halfway through the movie. That's something I would definitely have looked into. But whatever.

Uber male Dren is mad as hell and he's not going to take it anymore. He wipes out the N.E.R.D guys in like two seconds and then focuses his attention on surrogate parents Clive and Elsa. The couple runs deep into the woods, where Clive is undoubtedly thinking "OMG does this make me gay??!??"

The movie climaxes with a most disturbing scene in which Dren actually speaks, raping Elsa, and telling her he wants to be "inside her." Gross! In a final heroic moment, Clive kills Dren just before he is fatally poisoned by his HUGE tale stinger (I so called that one).

The epilogue shows an extremely pregnant Elsa, haggling with the N.E.R.D. president over rights to her hybrid Dren baby. My thing with this is how stupid is this woman? That baby probably has a stinger too. She'll most likely die when the baby is born, if not before then. She's either an idiot, or seriously pro life. I mean that's hardcore.

My main problem with this movie is that it didn't know what it wanted to be. It lacks the intentional comedic timing and value of a true B movie, but it isn't good enough to take seriously either. Nothing is ever really explained, the characters are kind of flat, and Brody and Polley have zero chemistry together. They play like two people that happen to be in the same room together. In all honesty, blobs Ginger and Fred had a better stage presence, and that's just sad.

The fore mentioned Academy Award says that Brody can act, so who's to blame for this mishap? I'm going to say this is all on the director, Vincenzo Natali. After researching a few of his other movies (no I didn't watch them, but I did read reviews), his calling card seems to be providing the audience with a fairly interesting premise, but not really following through on anything else.

If you like to create your own Mystery Science Theater experience, then watch this movie. It has a lot of talking points, and laugh worthy material. It's not really worth spending the money to buy though, so plan on renting or better yet, streaming it off Netflix. If you don't believe me, just look at the Box Office numbers. Splice cost an estimated $26,000,000 to make, and only earned about $17,000,000. I would say the studio lost money on this deal.

The Minx gives this movie a C-. Having an interesting premise is not enough to carry a movie, no matter how many sex scenes you throw into it. The general message of Splice is, in the words of Patton Oswalt, "We're all about coulda not shoulda. You're welcome. We're science."

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Twilight Experience: Epilogue

It's been over two weeks since the Twilight Experience and I've taken the time to reflect before sharing my final thoughts on the subject with you.

When dealing with a saga of this magnitude, it is important to look at the woman who started it all, Stephenie Meyer (who spells it with an [e] in the middle by the way). Below is a brief description of how she began the Twilight series.

Stephenie Meyer's life changed dramatically on June 2, 2003. The stay-at-home mother of three young sons woke up from a dream featuring seemingly real characters that she could not get out of her head.

"Though I had a million things to do, I stayed in bed, thinking about the dream. Unwillingly, I eventually got up and did the immediate necessities, and then put everything that I possibly could on the back burner and sat down at the computer to write—something I hadn't done in so long that I wondered why I was bothering."

Meyer invented the plot during the day through swim lessons and potty training, and wrote it out late at night when the house was quiet. Three months later she finished her first novel, Twilight. (found at stepheniemeyer.com)


Now that's definitely the lady I want writing the novels that swept a nation...and all of their brain cells along with it.

While the Twilight movies and books provide me with an unending supply of comedy material, they ultimately disturb me for several reasons.

1. There are young girls all over the country...probably the world, that take this series seriously. The whole Bella/Edward relationship is totally f*&%ed up. According to Meyer, young girls should be boring, psycho, needy, clingy, and depressive. Gee Stephenie, I'm sure all of the male bros are totally looking forward to hooking up with those chicks.

2. Even worse than that, there are middle aged women that take Twilight seriously and that is simply horrifying. These movies should be enjoyed by everyone, but for mocking purposes only. I can give tweens a free pass because let's face it...they're all idiots. But some lady in her 40's? Really??? That's just pathetic.

Listen up ladies: If you are over 13 and insist on taking Twilight seriously then you deserve to have your movie experience ruined.

3. The story is super lame and boring. The whole point of vampire literature is that it's sexy. Twilight is not sexy. It's awkward. Stephenie: If you're not going to make it interesting, then at least make it hot.

4. There is no way that vampires sparkle in the sunlight. That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard. It's not scary at all....AT ALL. It sounds like an idea a toddler would have.

So basically Stephenie Meyer has the same general interests as a 3yr old: finger painting, macaroni art, and shiny things!

I could go on, but quite frankly I'm bored with the whole topic. At the end of the day, no matter how many jokes I make about it, Twilight sucks. Watching (or reading) them is a waste of time, energy, and brain cells. I can't actually prove that last part, but I'm 100% positive that it's true.

The Minx's final word: Stephenie Meyer you are a complete waste of space on this Earth. You are using up our oxygen and we need it!

Tune in again in November for the grueling review of Part I of Breaking Dawn. (Weak Sauce)

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Twilight Experience: Part III

Despite my gut reaction to another viewing of New Moon, I did not vacate the AMC Bridgewater premises immediately after the movie. I remained in my seat to witness the premiere evening of Eclipse along with the rag tag bunch of soccer moms and tweens dressed to the nines in their Twilight apparel.

There was an electricity in the air that I can only attribute the polar reaction of so many Team Edward and Team Jacob shirts coming into close contact with one another in a jam packed theater.

Eclipse
was to be a completely new experience for me in the Twilight realm. I managed to muddle my way through the first two books out of sheer will power, but failed miserably at Eclipse...mostly because it was too damn boring, but also because it read like something my family's jack russell terrier could have written...in one afternoon.

Technically I had no idea where this movie might be headed. I could only hope, as I had during the last two, that it was heading towards ANYONE getting laid. (yeah right)

It never ceases to amaze me how someone like Stephanie Meyer managed to write three books that turned into best sellers...all with the exact same plot. I honestly don't think it matters what order you read or watch these in.

1. Bella is insecure
2. Edward and Jacob have a feud over Bella
3. All the bad guys are obsessed with killing Bella. (Honestly I would be too, but not for the reason they lead you to believe in the movies. She's the most boring and annoying character I've seen in a long while and definitely deserves to fall off of a cliff (and actually die this time!!!!!!!) at the very least.)
4. Everyone fights over who should protect Bella
5......... d e a d s p a c e...........
6..................................................................
7..................................................................
8. Edward and Jacob get blue balls
9...............................random fight scene for no reason
10. Blue balls
11. Credits

It's pretty bad when the action scenes make you want to kill yourself out of boredom. The side plot about a "newborn" vampire army was pretty brutal, but it did give one of the Cullen Clan, Jasper, his time in the spot light.

Jasper, who has been pretty quiet most of the series so far was apparently in the US Cavalry, and because of his sudden back story and epic flashback....adopted a thick southern accent in the middle of the movie. Clearly ( I guess I should say luckily) the actors were not expected to read the book series when they were cast. This guy obviously had no idea that he was supposed to be from the south until right before shooting the flashbacks.

Despite the sudden change in character and voice, Jasper turns out to be pretty bad ass. Maybe he should have his own spin off movie.

Jacob Black, who is about as good an actor as the mop from the Swiffer commercials (so let's face it, pretty good), actually has some pretty funny scenes and one liners in Eclipse.

“I don’t have any leeches on my speed dial.”

“Does my being half-naked bother you?”

“Did you seriously just stamp your foot? I thought girls only did that on TV”

In fact...a Jasper/Jacob spin off movie or show would be supa cool. It would be the ultimate bromance. They have the alliteration and everything. During the final minutes of Eclipse I found myself wondering why I couldn't be watching the J squared spin off movie instead of this piece of trash.

The Minx Says: At least there aren't any more of these coming out....until November 2011. 4 and 1/2 blessed months of rest before part I of Breaking Dawn, should Bella switch dish detergents because Dawn uses petroleum in their alleged eco-friendly recipe? Tune in November 18, 2011 to find out*.


*I can only hope that this is the real plot of Breaking Dawn.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Twilight Experience Saga: Part II

I think that we left off with Team Charlie being pretty awesome. This theme continues into the second movie, New Moon.

New Moon really gets things cooking plot wise. At this point in the saga, we have not one, not two, but three guys vying for Bella's affections. Who wins the Battle for Bella 2009?

a) Edward: A vampiric James Dean wanna be with slightly goofy hair, stenciled in abs, and a makeup job that makes Mimi from the Drew Carey Show look subtle. http://www.freealabama.com/images/mimi.jpg

b) Jacob: A Native American werewolf with a heart of gold and abs that are decidedly not drawn on. http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_bX9OR1X47Nw/Sw_9OMZdQhI/AAAAAAAAAVw/GkbHev9mlHw/s1600/Jacob-Black-New-Moon-twilight-series-7288928-707-1104.jpg

c) Mike: The all American townie that moderately resembles the Mad TV guy http://sharetv.org/images/madtv-show.jpg

Before we move on, just a side note about the references to Jacob and Edward's ab muscles. I think the comparison in the following link will clear up any uncertainty surrounding the situation. http://images2.fanpop.com/images/photos/8400000/Kanye-Edward-vs-Jacob-jacob-black-8490883-678-452.jpg

Ok...let's get back to Battle for Bella 2009. As we all know, Edward had the lead in the last movie. How could anyone catch up after such a tremendous head start? Well...probably because Edward leaves about 10 minutes into the movie and only appears in misty globs due to Bella's ever worsening psychoses.

Jacob however, is around like 24/7 for a good chunk of time. He and Bella seem to be getting pretty close until about halfway through the movie when he decides to reveal to her his innermost secret...he is a never nude (Don't mock people. This is a real and serious condition involving jorts, sneakers, and no shirt.). Apparently becoming a never nude is a severe side affect of lycanthropy.

Perks of Jacob include but are not limited to:

1. He happens to be there
2. He has a real 6 pack
3. His teeth are very white
4. He can pop his shirt off in 0.00002 seconds flat (a movie record at the very least)
5. Medically speaking, he can think on his feet. (when Bella falls off her motorcycle, he ingeniously uses his shirt popping ability to clean Bella's open head wound)

Despite his clear advantages in New Moon, Jacob never quite seems to win Bella over.

At least Jacob has a little bit of a shot. Poor Mike over in Forks is pretty much hopeless. Not only does he have the clear disadvantage of looking like a giant baby, but Bella won't even agree to go out on an actual date with him. She spends plenty of alone time with misty Edward and furry Jacob, but when it comes time to go to a movie with Mike, she needs a buffer. I mean, she even goes on a motorcycle ride alone with a creepy, fat, balding old guy! Her standards are clearly not that high.

Sorry to say Mike...that you are officially out the the Battle for Bella running.

In addition to Team Charlie being awesome, it becomes increasingly clear that Jessica (Bella's Fork's friend played by Anna Kendrick) is way cooler and more interesting than Bella. Her scenes are a welcome relief from the utter monotony of the rest of the movie. Unfortunately, just like in Twilight, her scenes are few and far between.

Apparently there's nothing more thrilling than watching Bella do.....NOTHING. This is over half of the movie people. I especially love the scene where Edward first leaves and there is a montage of what? Bella sitting in a chair, not moving, staring out the window as the seasons pass for like 10 minutes!!!

I'm seriously getting bored just talking about this. Just a few more comments and I promise this movie is almost over!

So what's up with the Dakota Fanning and the guy from freaking Frost/Nixon being in this movie. I guess I understand Dakota. She's growing up and wants to somehow remain relevant. But Frost from Frost/Nixon??? Are you kidding me??? You don't go from making Frost/Nixon to making New Moon!!! You can maybe go from making Uptown Girls to making New Moon...oh what? Oh she already did that...good thinking Dakota.

What's the New Moon verdict you ask???

The Minx says: She's going to answer this one with a question, which is...Why the hell am I still watching these movies??????

Tune in next time for the continuation of the Twilight Experience Saga where MM will delve into the destined to be classic, Eclipse.

Friday, July 2, 2010

The Twilight Experience: Part I

I'm sure that all of my readers out there are on the edge of their seats...because I have received comments saying you are on the edge of your seats in anticipation of my next Twilight entry.

Let's focus on the first movie of the Saga, Twilight.

Now I've seen this movie before, but never in the theater. Now if you thought that Twilight was boring in the comfort of your own home...then you are absolutely correct, and that goes double for the in theater experience. It's just like watching the movie in your living room except bigger and much much less comfortable. At least in your house you can squish down on your comfy couch with a beer, or for Twilight, let's face it...a scotch (double). The extreme awkward sexual tension with a total lack of actual sex is merely close up with a wide angle lens, somehow making it EVEN MORE AWKWARD! It also makes the alleged love interest in the movie even less realistic.

The makeup job on Robert Pattinson (Edward) is nauseating at best. He looks like a combination clown/blind old lady. You would think they could at least blend in the makeup lines on his chin line.

Speaking of nauseating, does Edward actually like Bella? Every time he's close to her it kind of looks like he's about to throw up. Either that or he's taking a massive number 2. I guess that's his version of being really strongly attracted to someone. Someone find out what acting school he attended.

Kristen Stewart's (Bella "oh I'm so clumsy and hideous act...why would anyone ever want to be with me" gets more obnoxious as my viewings of the film (I say laughably) increase.

I did notice one particular aspect of Bella's personality that spoke much louder on the big screen: she's a complete psycho! Her obsession over Edward in this film is not only gross and unhealthy, it's a bad example to set for our nations tweens. Also...it's really pathetic and unrealistic. There is no way a theoretically hot vampire is going to want some girl hanging all over him and saying she wants to be with him forever. No wonder Edward won't turn her into a vampire in the end of the movie. I don't think a human guy would want a chick like that hanging around for the rest of her life, let alone a smoldering 100 year old vampire.

Is there any saving grace in this movie? Well...not exactly a saving grace, but there is a beacon of light. It may be quite faint, but if you're really looking for it...you may catch a glimmer of it. What is this beacon of light? CHARLIE, Bella's dad. He is literally the only one invested in this movie. I have a theory that he's actually a stand up comic and he's using the Twilight movies to finely tune his skills. Any scene with Charlie in it is completely bearable. Unfortunately, Charlie is only in like four scenes so his screen time is rather limited.

I could go on, but if you've seen Twilight...I hope that I don't have to.

Media Minx says: Screw Team Edward and Team Jacob! Go for TEAM CHARLIE!!!!!

Tune in tomorrow for the continuation of the Minx's Twilight Experience Saga

Thursday, July 1, 2010

The Twilight Experience: Prologue

The continuation of the Twilight Saga, Eclipse, arrived in theaters on June 30th, 2010 at 12:01am. If you were lucky you managed to get a ticket to the midnight showing. I mean, who wouldn't want to be there for the ultra gripping love triangle that entangles Bella, Edward and Jacob?

If you were even luckier, you managed to obtain a ticket to the Twilight Experience (a nine hour recap that included showings of the previous two movies and ended in a grand finale, a showing of Eclipse at the witching hour).

Being a reviewer of movies at the classiest level, of course I attended the event at my local AMC Theater. The ticket cost for this blessed event was $30. To add an extra bonus to the already sweet sweet pot, AMC gave each attendee a commemorative event lanyard and a $10 AMC Theater gift card featuring the images of Bella, Edward and Jacob.

That about sets the stage for the event that will undoubtedly go down in history. As what exactly? Well you'll have to keep reading the Media Minx Twilight Experience Saga to find out...

Tune in tomorrow for Part I of the media minx's assessment of the Twilight Experience, beginning with Twilight.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Wolfman: A Classic Failure

So this one is going to hurt. Get your wolfsbane and silver bullets ready because we're about to dive into the remake of the 1941 classic film: The Wolfman.

This 2010 version stars Benicio del Toro, Emily Blunt, and Anthony Hopkins. You may also recognize the elf in charge of Rivendale from The Lord of the Rings and that guy with the glasses from The Matrix (Hugo Weaving) as the pesky inspector from Scotland Yard.

The story is similar to the original film albeit a little more boring. I'm not really sure what possessed any of these actors to be in this movie. The only one who seemed to even realize she was in a movie was Emily Blunt. That being said, one actor actually trying in a movie does not equal a whole...or something like that. That's not to say she was actually good, just that she was aware that movie was being made.

Del Toro seemed to be in constant drug induced state, Weaving just wanted a pint of bitters, and I'm fairly certain that the cameras were just following Hopkins around in "a day in the life" style.

Basically the prodigal son returns home and gets bitten by a werewolf of unknown origin. Del Toro macks on his dead brother's fiance (Blunt) while he and his father exchange meaningful glances. Weaving is sent in to investigate the town's disturbances and the villagers turn into a mindless mob. Really riveting and innovating stuff here people.

This movie took out most of the interesting parts of the original about wolfsbane and the gypsies and replaced it with some slightly disturbing scenes in an asylum which I guess were supposed to solidify the mental torture that Hopkins (the actor not his character) has inflicted upon his son over the years. The otherworldly elements were mostly ignored except for a particularly sweet montage in which Blunt furiously searches for a cure in the lycanthropy books she just happens to have lying around her antique shop? I mean who among doesn't have one or two lycanthropy coffee table books?

Spoiler Alert!!!!!: Hopkins (the person not the character) is a werewolf!! He killed his youngest son and bit Del Toro. I don't know if you get the symbolism here so I'll break it down. The son is destined to walk in his father's footsteps/the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

The movie culminates in a huge fight scene between Del Toro and Hopkins. They do the traditional werewolf in mid-air clash. I'm not sure where that tradition came from. Probably archive footage of werewolves I guess because all filmmakers seem pretty damn sure that's how a werewolf battle would go down. Both father and son die, but not before Weaving gets bit by one of them. (Seriously all the guy wanted to do was go down to the pub...damn) Do I smell the wafting aroma of a sequel?????

All in all this movie was pretty forgettable. I guess the updated effects were alright. I liked that they kept the original wolf/man style instead of the just wolf thing that Twilight seems to have taken to. When I think of a wolfman I think of a guy...that looks like a wolf, preferably wearing pin stripped pants and a white button down shirt (I would also have accepted a basketball uniform complete with sweat bands)

The minx says: A yawn of a movie. If you want to see werewolves check out the original from 1941 or the teen wolf series...a werewolf on the basketball court...freaking hilarious!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Musical Terrors

Why do people insist on making popular Broadway musicals into feature films? I know that it worked back in the earlier part of the 20th century, but things were quaint back then...not to mention it was way harder to get to an actual theater to see a live performance. I think it is also important to mention that many of the classic movie musicals were written specifically to be shown on the screen, Cinderella for instance.

Movie musicals eventually fell out of fashion...but when exactly did they come back? Now every freakin show that gets any recognition at all is turned immediately into a movie. Some of you may remember my previous comments regarding the ridiculous attempt at Rent by Chris Columbus. Needless to say, some musicals just do not need to be made into movies. Andrew Lloyd Webber just keeps pushing the envelope on that. First with Evita starring Madonna and Antonio Banderas (nice) and then with The Phantom of the Opera (POTO). I am going to go out on a limb and say that POTO is crappiest of the two.

Like Rent, POTO seems off from the get go. Without even going into the casting, the cinematography is just crap. I think they set a world record for number of crossfades in a feature length film, and they happen in the most awkward places. "Look, there's Emmy Rossum in front of the mirror (crossfade happens)...oh there she is...still?? Nothing has happened?!??" Throw in a little fog juice and you've really got a party.

Two words: Minnie Driver. What is she doing in this movie??? 1. She can't sing. 2. She can't lip sync to someone else singing. I do kind of feel bad for her though. She's like the modern day Audrey Hepburn circa My Fair Lady except without the class and fashion sense.

So Emmy Rossum plays Christine in this rendition. I don't suppose it needs to be said that she is no Sarah Brightman. I know that the character is supposed to be like 18, but I really don't need to hear an actual 18 year old screeching out those high notes. She looks hot enough in those skimpy outfits I guess, but like in Avatar looks should not be everything.

Honestly I don't even feel like mentioning Raoul. He's pretty transparent throughout the whole thing. That speaks to his voice and his acting. Every once and a while he'll say something you actually notice...only because he says it so damn awkwardly. The dialogue between Raoul and Christine especially...is just brutal to listen to. It seriously makes me want to crawl under a rock.

I saved the best for last of course: Gerard Butler. What a Phantom...by which I mean terrible. I wasn't aware that the POTO was supposed to be a sex symbol. He's probably the worst singer of the bunch as well. They tried so desperately to cover it with reverb, with no avail. I think they wanted to hide it by shooting a lot of Christine and the Phantom grinding up against one another...which is in itself disturbing.

I don't want to go into this much more in depth, but there is one particular scene that I just have to mention. In the underground lair Christine tries to remove the Phantom's mask. I think it's pretty common knowledge that he's very badly scarred...which is why he wears the mask. She pulls it off of him and you see his whole face. He looks fine!!! They didn't even bother to put makeup on him for the scene!! WTF? If he's not scarred then why is he wearing the mask and living in the basement? Maybe he just can't afford rent. It's a metaphor for kids overstaying their welcome at home after college.

Honestly I'm sick of talking about this already. The casting doesn't make any sense, the singing ranges from mediocre at best to just atrocious, the acting is flat, the love story is disturbing, and the visuals are extremely overdone and cheesy. Please don't see this movie.

The minx says: This movie should go and hide in the basement of a Paris theater...far away from everyone for centuries to come.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

More like Avatard

Yes I'm sorry everyone. I went there. I know that this movie won some bullshit awards recently and it's super popular right now, but seriously James Cameron? Is that the best you can do? You had over a decade to work on this and Avatar is what you have to show for it?

As for the awards, the only thing that makes sense to me is that the entire Golden Globe committee was made up of Avatars...all controlled by James Cameron. Either that or they were just too amazed by the 3D special effects (the only plus side to this movie) that they didn't notice the plot.

Yes that's right. I admit that that it looked cool. But that's not a reason to give it best picture of anything. I've seen a lot of movies in the last year, and almost all of them were better than Avatar. The fact that a movie has good effects and animation does not automatically make it a good movie!

One might ask, "what the hell is your problem with this great movie minx?"

Well dear reader...sooo many things. If I took the time to name everything wrong with this movie, I'd be writing for like two days, so I'm going to break it down into just a couple major categories.

1. This movie takes no risks whatsoever. It's so clear that Cameron was only trying to appeal to the masses. There is literally nothing clever in this entire film.
Example a: The freakin planet is called Pandora!!!!! Really??? Really?? It's not like we want to hit anyone over the head with anything here.
Example b: What are these people mining? Oh a little something called unobtanium. Do I really need to say anything else about this? I mean I don't know what we'd do if anyone in the audience actually had to think...ever!

The only thing that's even a little edgy is the fact that the main character is in a wheelchair...which of course they barely dwell on. Not to mention he's in his avatar body for most of the movie. You rarely have to deal with the fact that he can't walk.

Any moments that might possibly evoke some kind of real emotion from a character are cut off just as fast as they appear. Again it's important to remember that we don't want to offend anyone.

2. This movie is rampant with racism. It's supposed to be about saving an indigenous people, but it's important to notice that they can't possibly save themselves. Not in Cameron's world anyway. In the end it isn't an actual Na'vi that saves the world from the evil nondescript corporations...it's the white guy in a Na'vi suit. Everyone knows that any culture outside of America is incapable of protecting and or saving themselves.

Also the actors playing the various Na'vi characters were riddled with just anyone...as long as they were not WASPs. I'm pretty sure that the casting call just said "Open casting for any and all minority groups, cause let's face it...you people are all the same." Honestly I'm surprised that Antonio Banderas didn't make an appearance. Sidebar...did you notice that the guy from Last of the Mohicans, Magua, was the chief? He rocks.

James Horner clearly took snippets from any stereotypical "multicultural" music that he had just lying around the house, pasted them together and handed it in. Again it goes back to not taking any risks at all. It would have been so much more interesting to have a unique sound. After all, this is supposed to be a brand new world. Apparently they have Audacity and Sibelius on Pandora. Maybe they can download it directly through their ponytails and cut and paste the clips right there to make a mashup.

Honestly if this movie had not been so hyped up, I may have thought it was ok. But if I had worked for more than ten years on one project and this is all I produced, I would be ashamed. At it's very best it's an average movie with cutting edge special effects. If someone gave me over 300 million dollars to make a film I think I would try to make it a little more interesting.

Bottom Line: Looks are not everything in a movie. If this is going to be the new trend in movies then I don't want to be a part of it. The plot is lame, the acting is two dimensional, and there is nothing emotional to cling to. A hint from the media minx to you James Cameron...stick to what you know aka stories about white people.

Friday, January 22, 2010

The end is near

What is the one thing that you can't get enough in the film industry???

If you said disaster movies you're absolutely correct!!! Hurray for you. Give yourself a nice pat on the back for being a complete tard.

People love disaster movies, and they made a comeback in a big way with the total turd of a movie, 2012, which was released a few months ago. This way too long whirlwind of a movie stars John Cusack, Amanda Peet, the guy from Love Actually/Serenity, and that guy who looks like Greg Kinnear. The surprises never stop coming either with special appearances by a clearly insane Woody Harrelson, and a washed up and depressing Danny Glover. Actually, based on his performance I'm pretty sure Glover has dementia now...either that or he is like the most amazing method actor I've ever seen.

So apparently the Earth's core is heating extremely rapidly. I guess it's supposed to be in a constant blow-popish state, but it's become more like a chocolate truffle sitting out on a counter in the heat for too long. One bite and that thing is going to blow. Some Indian scientists tell the guy from Serenity the truffle situation and rushes to a white house function to tell the president.

Flash forward a little in time to meet John Cusack who is painted as the artist who lost it all: wife, book deal, kids (listed in order of importance), and is working as a limo driver. He's pathetic, but not so much that you think he can't win. After all, the guy from Serenity bought his book.

Most of the plot is too boring to go through step by step so I'm just going to ramble it off:

The government thought they had more time before the Mayan calendar expires.

They don't

John Cusack meets Woody Harrelson, who wants everyone to download his blog?? He's trying to spread the gospel about a big government conspiracy and the world ending. They're building space ships (which turn out to be boats).

Cusack throws his family together, including Greg Kinnear guy, who btw only knows how to fly a single engine plane and is boning Cusack's wife. They somehow get a plane and manage to escape with it all the way to China. There are some other steps in between these happenings...but come one, does it really matter?

Glover plays the martyr in DC as the rest of the big wigs, including the guy from Serenity, escape to China. Glover and pretty much everyone else in the world die! But let's get back to where the action is.

The top cabinet guy or something...it's never really clear, is now taking charge of pretty much the world. Of course he's painted as evilish.

Cusack and the gang make it to the boats in China. Again it's not important how. Greg Kinnear guy get crushed to death because how else would Cusack and his family be reunited in the end?

Serenity and Cusack manage to save the day and the arcs float off into the ocean together.

Cusack and family are reunited, and his daughter (who previously had a urination problem) is cured.

They try to end the movie on a positive note, but wtf people??? Basically the entire world just died. Oh you're going to sail to Africa to start over huh? Well F*%$ you dude! The rest of us are probably dead! Glover is done in for sure. How can you just casually be like "oh let's start over?"

This a freaking disaster movie people. It is not appropriate to end the movie with a joke about wetting the bed. I didn't realize we were watching Home Alone 12 "Where's Your Home Now?" That pesky Fuller's at it again.

The casting/acting is crap. The plot is unnecessarily convoluted in all the wrong places. I'm pretty sure they were trying to make a serious movie, but it's just laughable. From effects to storyline this movie is super bad. I will say though: if they were going for epic...success. 2012 is epic. Epically terrible!

While there are a few humorous scenes (unintentionally so), 2012 is way too long to be tolerable. I suggest a directors cut of only the scenes of Greg Kinnear guy flying in between buildings sideways, Woody Harrelson being killed by lava, and the giraffes being helicoptered through China.

The Minx's prognosis: If I were managing the end of the world arc building/world saving project...anyone that legitimately liked the movie 2012 would NOT be saved.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Is it nostalgia talking?

We all have those memories from our childhood when we think "man was that awesome, I used to love that (insert show, band, movie, book, pretty much anything entertainment oriented)." Let's take a short walk down memory lane to see how some of youngster minx's favorites rank on my scale today.

To help with time management, I'll only be touching on a few examples. Anyone that grew up in the 1980's and 90's would agree that we had a ton of rockin entertainment material, but unfortunately a review covering everything would be way too long for anyone to bother to read. With that brief disclaimer out of the way, here it goes.


First thing that comes to my mind from the mid 90's to me is Ace of Base. Do I really need to say anything else? Chubby 10 year old me could not get enough of these guys. Not only did I have their most popular album, The Sign, I even bought The Bridge! I recently took another gander at some of this bands work, and to be perfectly honest, it left me wondering what in the hell I was thinking. Ok so they have decent backbeats to their songs, but unfortunately it's always the same one. I pretty much couldn't tell the difference between "All that she wants" and "Don't turn around." It wasn't a bad song, it was just all the same. On the other hand the album title song, "The sign" was still totally rocking! It's about the only thing these Swedish hipsters have going for them. Take my advice and ditch the album. Just import "the sign" onto your party mix.

Moving on to musicals. This section may not be for everyone; however I am not ashamed to admit that I have a soft spot for musicals. I think most people would agree that the most cutting edge and popular show of the mid to late 90's is Rent. Jonathon Larson's twist/rip off of the Puccini opera La Boheme was the coolest. I'm not ashamed to admit that I was totally into it just like everyone else, but then again I was only like twelve. The music and presentation of the show was completely different than the classic styles of teams such as Rodgers and Hammerstein. The story was interesting enough, and powerful enough to speak to a generation of struggling artists I suppose. The question is, has Rent been able to stand the test of time? NO. It was cool for a while, but what is it still doing on Broadway? Every washed up star available has pretty much been involved with it at this point. I mean seriously? Scary Spice??? Are you kidding me? Know when you need to give up ok people. And fyi...Rent is not cool anymore kids. It does not speak to your generation and it's not about pampered upper middle class suburbanites that want to go to theater camp. It was an important marker in the genre of musical theater that should be remembered. That being said, the music is out dated and cheesy and to be quite honest, I'm not sure how the whole market didn't crash after that atrocious Chris Columbus movie that came out in 2005. I could go on for a few more paragraphs about how sad the actors in the movie look considering the fact that they are obviously like 40 and are still struggling artists in NYC, but I don't want to depress you even more. Bottom line on Rent: move on people. It's soooo over!

Lastly for now is the movie category. I thought I would pick two nostalgic childhood movies to compare for this section. The first is The Mighty Ducks. Wow what a piece of crap. I used to love this movie as a kid. I'm pretty sure that I made my parents take me to the sequel too. How did our parents manage to get through this in the theater with us? I'm assuming that heavy sedation was involved. The jokes aren't funny and the characters choices are about as thought out as a rural high school production of Les Miserables. As if you couldn't tell, I watched this recently and was sorely disappointed. Does it get any better than a villain with a ridiculous vendetta and no clear motivation? YES! It gets so much better than that. Emilio I'm surprised at you. Thankfully you were only phoning this part in. Good luck next time.

The Goonies is another of my favorite childhood movies. After having been so embarrassed at the other entertainment choices of my youth, I had to take another look at this classic to see how it stood the test of age and time. Luckily this movie still rocks. The characters are probably funnier now than they were when I was younger. There is obvious slapstick comedy for the kids, and word play and references for the adults. I'm pretty sure all my parents needed to enjoy this movie with me was popcorn. There is an additional layer of hilarity to see now famous actors such as Sean Astin, and Josh Brolin in some of their earlier work. The friendships and family relations are believable, and the story between Chunk and Sloth is both humorous and touching. The story is a combination of realistic bordering on the unbelievable. It's not too out there to pull audience out of the experience. The minx says: genuinely fun for the entire family. A classic to watch more than once.

That's it for today. If you have a childhood favorite you'd like discussed let me know. I love a trip down memory lane.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

First of all

Let me begin my postings on a high note by saying that Mr. Smith Goes to Washington is one of the greatest movies of all time.  I mean how can you go wrong with James Stewart ever?  He plays the character of Jefferson Smith with such innocence and wonder, yet his strength of character radiates throughout the entire film. 

Stewart and his supporting cast members bring the audience along with them on a 2 hours and change emotional whirl wind.  We feel his excitement as he arrives in Washington for the first time, and we feel his exhaustion as he stands in the Senate holding the floor for over 23 hours, reciting American historical documents. 

In a time where it seems non existent, Stewart makes you believe in the American Dream again. 

As in a great many classic films from the earlier part of the 20th century, the acting of the entire cast is fantastic.  Mr. Smith Goes to Washington doesn't need flashy cuts or special effects because the story and heart felt acting is enough. 

If you've been watching nothing but Michael Bay movies as of late, I encourage you to pick up this movie and take a gander.  You may be surprised at how fulfilling a movie can be without overusing "edgy" effects and camera work. 

Today's lesson:  Sometimes you just need to get back to the basics.