12.30.2013

Your Highness

Time for some strong homoerotic overtones.
"Get your quest on."

Hey y'all, welcome back to The Tagline, it's another exciting week filled to the brim with broken promises, broken dreams, and mediocre movies I watched while I was spacing out after work. Today I will be continuing the trend I started last week by reviewing a movie that was both vulgar and stupid. Today I will be dipping into the robust film pool that is the career of Seth Rogan's boyfriend, James Franco. That's right, I'll be talking about Your Highness, a film starring Franco as a probably molested prince of considerable heroism, and also kind of homoerotic stature, named Fabious, who often goes on adventures to kick ass with his shifty clearly going to betray him later knights. In comparison, his brother Thadeous (Danny McBride, who like Franco was in This is the End) is a drunken, lascivious boor, who travels around the kingdom participating in debauchery with his servant Courtney. All this fuckery ends however when Fabious returns to his father Tywin Lannister (no I'm not kidding Charles Dance is the king) with a ditsy girl he saved from imprisonment in a tower (Zooey Deschanel) that he intends to marry. Thadeous gets super jealous, because he is a stupid asshole, but before the wedding can finish, the evil wizard Leezar shows up to kidnap the girl, so he can bone her and she will give birth to a dragon that he will use to kill everyone because he's a huge asshole. With his fiance kidnapped for nefarious ends, Fabious sets off after her, and Thadeous is forced by their father to tag along, even though he is a craven moron.

12.26.2013

Star Wars Holiday Special Nightmare

Feel the magic! and the fear.
"A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away..."

Yeah that's right, I'm going there. Even though it is not a movie, technically speaking, it altogether runs for about two hours, and it is...holiday themed I guess, so I'm going to make you all sit there and listen to me recall a dark thing that happened to me one time when I was young and foolish in college, and thought it would be funny to watch the Star Wars Holiday Special. Back then the full extent of internet proliferation had not quite taken root, and so it was actually kind of tough to find a digimal version of the Holiday Special. This is principally because it only ever aired once. Eventually though I did manage to secure a copy and what I found filled me with regret. As it turns out, for a fan of Star Wars, or indeed any other creature that could perceive their surroundings, it was not so funny. What it was, in fact, was one of the most traumatically bad segments of television I have ever experienced, and it is generally regarded as being one of the worst pieces of television ever created. You see Christmas is a special time, when we celebrate with our families, but I think sometimes it's important to be given a grim reminder of things past, and so I'm here to be the ghost of Life Day Past, and remind us all of the holiday that was.

12.24.2013

Zack and Miri Make a Porno

Ah I see what they did there.
"What would you do to get out of debt?"

Would you have sex with Seth Rogan? Yeah me neither, I'd rather freeze to death in a ditch somewhere. Anyway hello and welcome back to the Tagline, where today I will be delving into the depths of despair and general grossness, when I review Zack and Miri Make a Porno. This film was Kevin Smith's attempt to capitalize on the success of movies like Knocked Up, which was okay I guess. Zack and Miri is about Zack (Seth Rogan) and Miri (Elizabeth Banks) two platonic friends and roomates who have really shitty jobs and generally despair inducing lives, who are trying to just pay rent and keep the power on through the winter, both endeavors that they fail at. After going to their high school reunion, and having weird and depressing encounters, Zack proposes that maybe shooting a porn wouldn't be the worst idea they ever had to make money, and really with the power off and them burning unpaid bills in a drum for heat, what more do they have to lose? Not much as it turns out.

12.18.2013

Only God Forgives

He's a really bad boxer.
"Time to Meet The Devil."

Hello again friends, it is once again time for The Tagline. I know I promised true holiday horrors today, but you'll have to wait a bit longer to realize my darkest nightmares. Frankly speaking... some things are just TOO terrible. I'm afraid dear readers, afraid of what I will do in the pursuit of your entertainment. So in the meantime, I offer up something less horrific, and not as seasonal, while I steel myself, body and mind, for what might be the worst thing I've ever watched... again. Instead, let me reach into my bag of stupid, and pull out a movie that was bad, but not in a particularly holiday way. I'm talking about Only God Forgives, a film starring Ryan Gosling as Julian, who runs a muay thai club in Thailand that's actually a front for a drug operation. His brother brutally murders and rapes a prostitute (and probably in that order too the twisted sack of shit) and then is killed in turn by the prostitute's father, with the consent of the fucked up Thai police, who play things kinda fast and loose as you can probably guess. After the death of Julian's brother, his horrible crime boss mom shows up to run the show, and tells him to go out and even up the score. This is about what you can sort out as regards the plot of this movie.

12.16.2013

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Prepare to be desolated.
"Beyond darkness... beyond desolation... lies the greatest danger of all."

Good morrow to you hobbits and dwarves, it's time for The Tagline! As promised, over the weekend I went to see the Hobbit, despite the fact that there was a snowstorm in progress. Actually, the snow was rather fortunate, because it meant that instead of going to see the movie in a theater packed with people, my two friends and I had the privilege of seeing the movie in an empty theater, save for ourselves. This is my ideal viewing situation, because while I like watching movies in a theater, I prefer that there be no other people present, because I don't like them and also like to imagine that the theater actually belongs to me, but that's probably a conversation to have with a therapist. ANYWAY, we made it through the snow and began our viewing of THE HOBBIT PART TWO: REHOBBITING aka The Desolation of Smaug (the number of times we said SMAUUUWWWWGGGG throughout the evening would probably be sufficient to warrant an act of violence against us). I was relatively open (on my blog if not in person) with how I felt about the first Hobbit movie. Me and fantasy in general have a kind of contentious relationship, because fantasy is frequently accompanied by 1) camp and 2) whimsy. Those are two things I have zero fucking interest in (particularly the whimsy) I liked the Lord of the Rings because it was bleak, and dark, and there were constantly things getting decapitated while the characters trudged through the rain and mud, and lamenting how hope had abandoned the world. That was what I liked about it. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey was incredibly long considering that the first hour and a half was spent in Bilbo's house (At least it was about that mark before he LEFT) and I could have done without the whacky dwarf singing. Even the "action" had a fair amount of capering about while goofy goblins chased the dwarves through their gobliny lair. From the very beginning of The Desolation of Smaug, you can tell that this movie is going to strike a different, darker tone, for which I was very grateful. The movie opens in that rat pisshole of a town Bree, where Peter Jackson likes to look surly and eat carrots, and things start dying very shortly after.

12.12.2013

District 9

That's not nice.
"For humans only. Non-humans banned!"

It's Thursday, and that means it's time for the Tagline: PART TWO. Today I'm going to be digging up a film from my backlog of "Movies that I reviewed in an alternate universe but think I reviewed here." Today's featured film is District 9, a movie about one man with a funny sounding accent who evicts a bunch of aliens from their homes where they're minding their own business, and then is later given cause to regret his hurtful, speciesist actions. The film stars Sharlto Copley as Wikus van de Merwe (I talked about him as a psychopath government killer in Elysium). Wikus works for MNU, a corporation that has been put in charge of the... relocation of the alien race referred to derogatorily as "Prawns" by the South African government. What?! Aliens you say? Yes, well in the movie, some time around 1982 a large alien space ship appeared, and stopped over Johannesburg, South Africa. Investigations inside the ship revealed a large number of half starved aliens who were then relocated and restricted to District 9, a ghetto specified specifically for the aliens. Eventually, even THAT doesn't satisfy the bunch of racists, and so they now want to move them somewhere else. ANYWAY Wikus has been put in charge of the relocation, but that all goes straight into the crapper after he is exposed to a strange alien fluid while attempting to relocate several of the aliens. Wikus begins to undergo a transformation into one of the aliens, and so is detained by MNU for study (as you might expect of an evil corporation, they eventually decide to vivisect him) Wikus eventually escapes, and flees to District 9, where he agrees to help the alien Christopher Johnson (no I'm not kidding) who says he can reverse the mutation if he can only get back to the mothership. 

12.09.2013

Santa Claus Conquers the Martians Live Rifftrax

You know this'll be OUT OF THIS WORLD.
"Santa Brings Christmas Fun to Mars!"

Good morning everyone, welcome back to The Tagline, your window to a stupider world of cinema. Last Thursday I had the pleasure of attending ANOTHER live Rifftrax event, this time a Christmas themed event riffing one of the old MST3K favorites, and what is considered one of the worst movies ever made: Santa Claus Conquers the Martians. While not regarded as being quite as terrible as Manos: The Hands of Fate, a film that is approximately 25% driving footage without opening credits, Santa Conquers the Martians is still undeniably a putrid pile of garbage. Made in 1964 as part of the non-existent demand for movies featuring Santa Claus going on space adventures, Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (or Santy Claus if we're believing the children who sing the opening theme over the credits) is about a bunch of Martian guys who decide they're going to abduct Santa because their children all act sullen. They determine this is because they don't know how to have fun, and so they apparently need Santa and the commercial orgy that is Christmas so that they can be good little American children, and crave baseball bats and toy trains. The Martian leaders learn these important details from a bizarre old hobo who lives in the forest and disappears in a poof of smoke after crying about Christmas and how sad children are. No I am not exaggerating, that is exactly what happens, except I guess maybe he isn't a hobo, though he certainly looked and behaved like an aged drunk who lives in the woods, spouting insane nonsense about Santa Claus.

12.04.2013

The To Do List

Awful guys. Awful.
"She's going from straight A's to her first F."

That is not good guys and gals. Look at that tagline. It is a bad tagline. It should feel bad about who and what it is. I threw up a little typing it, but I mean, I had to. That's what was on the poster, what else could I do? Let me try and regain my composure. Okay I'm ready, hello everyone, and welcome to the awkward sex portion of the week. Today you'll be following me down a bizarre rabbit hole into the figurative and literal clusterfuck that is The To Do List. For those wondering "what even are you talking about" that's a fair question. The To Do List stars Aubrey Plaza (see her here as well) as Brandy Klark, a really awkward power nerd who decides that she needs to be more experienced sexually before she goes to college. To this end, she goes about solving the problem any true nerd would, by making a list of mundane (and also kind of weird) sex stuff, researching said things, and then setting about doing them all. I first heard about this movie after a bizarre incident that a lot of people think might have been staged, but that I'm not 100% about because it was really weird, you can look it up online. I'm referring to Aubrey Plaza crashing the stage of the MTV Movie awards and attempting to take Will Ferrel's award during his acceptance speech. There are reasons to believe that it was staged and that she wasn't just bomb annihilated drunk, for starters why she was in the very front row. Also she had the name of this movie written across her chest, and that got some camera time when she returned to her seat (before she was reportedly ejected from the venue). The MTV Movie Awards are known for that kind of "unstaged but actually no totally staged" stuff though, so who knows. THE POINT IS that was how I first heard about this movie, and so I figured what the hell, give it a watch and see what sorts of weird shit happens. Well all kinds I guess.

12.02.2013

Catching Fire

OH GOD SHE REALLY IS ON FIRE.
"Remember who the enemy is."

Welcome back, I hope you all had a good Thanksgiving if you live in the US and like to do that kind of thing. Otherwise I hope you had a nice Thursday I guess? As promised, today I will (belatedly) deliver my Thanksgiving gift of murder, though granted it is perhaps not as exciting because this installment doesn't involve the savage killing of small children. That's right, today I will be talking about the recently released Hunger Games: Catching Fire, sequel to 2012's Hunger Games film both of them adaptations of YA novels written by Suzanne Collins. To recap, see my review of the first Hunger Games here, go ahead, I'll wait for you, take your time. Okay, so after surviving the Hunger Games, Katniss and Peeta have to make a victory tour. The problem is that Katniss made a big show about how in love she was with Peeta, but they haven't exactly been honeymooning since they got back, and that makes President Snow (Donald Sutherland) really upset because they're his OTP, and he's hoping that if he ships them hard enough to Districts will stop rioting and he can prevent a revolution from toppling the Capitol (this revolution having been sparked by Katniss' defiant actions during her time in the Hunger Games arena). In an effort to remove what he sees as the root of his problems, Snow arranges a special 75th Hunger Games (which already would have been especially horrible as it was set to be the 3rd "Quarter Quell", special games every 25 years used to extra remind everyone of how whipped the capitol has them) where all the tributes will be the former victors of other Hunger Games. Katniss is understandably not thrilled at the prospect.

11.26.2013

Thor: The Dark World

That is a worthy poster right there.
"There was darkness."

Hello everyone, welcome back! It's a new week, full of NEW MOVIES. Today I'm going to talk about Thor: The Dark world, a movie that I had to see alone because APPARENTLY EVERYONE IS TOO COOL FOR ME. That's not important though, what IS important is that Thor: The Dark World is the sequel to the original Thor, which was released in 2011, and to a lesser extent also The Avengers (Thor and Loki having both been directly involved in the plot of that film), and following Thor (Chris Hemsworth, for hilariously bad films starring him see Red Dawn) as he attempts to win peace throughout the nine realms, while his brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston, you know Loki) sits in a cell for trying to help Thanos conquer the Earth, and generally just being an unlikable dickbag. Despite his incarceration, Loki is waiting for the chance to take the throne of Asgard from Odin (Anthony Hopkins, of Hannibal Lecter fame) who seems to be over the hill, though still more than capable of vaporizing you with his super duper Odin Spear (Gungnir I guess). It seems like this moment is upon him when the Svartalfar, led by Malekith (a basically unrecognizable Christopher Eccleston, also in G.I. Joe, he was Destro). The scoop here is Malekith wanted to use this thing called the Aether to destroy the universe and return it to darkness, because that's how the Svartalfar like things. Malekith got his ass kicked by ODIN's dad though, so he ran away to hide until someone uncovered the Aether again, allowing him to return and do that whole universe destroying thing, during something called the convergence, when the nine realms align. Naturally, right around the time the convergence is approaching, Jane (Natalie Portman) stumbles right into the damned Aether (like literally she runs into it). In order to save her, because Thor wants to do that, he has to get the Aether out of her, then destroy it... somehow.

11.20.2013

Devil

Going DOWN.
"Five strangers trapped. One of them is not what they seem."

Hello all and welcome, it's time to gather 'round and listen, as I tell a grim tale about a movie I watched, that ultimately I probably should not have. Do you ever occupy yourself with some other activity while watching a movie, only the second activity is the one you really focus on because the movie is so boring/crappy? For me sometimes I do it because if you're just watching a movie, by yourself, in a way that means that you are trapped alone with that movie until it ends. Sometimes I will decide I want to know about a movie I suspect will be complete garbage, but I'm just not brave enough to put myself alone in a room with it. So I set a secondary task, a handheld game or the internet or something ANYTHING, to be the third wheel to my date that I suspect is doomed from the start. In the spirit of that endeavor, I actually was doing TWO other things while I aired Devil, a film that was meant to kick off a series titled ever so humbly THE NIGHT CHRONICLES, dealing with the supernatural within urban society. That's right boys and girls, this is an M Night Shyamalan production (he didn't direct, but he did write it, so the fingerprints are still all over the murder weapon). I can't emphasize enough the sheer arrogance it must take to launch a series of movies, and name the series after yourself. Me personally, I wouldn't want my name on the Marquis over this movie, but that's because I like good things. Enough exposition though; what is Devil all about?

11.18.2013

The Prestige

Careful you don't have your hand shot off.
"A Rivalry That Turned Deadly."

Hello everyone! It's a new week, and that means it's time for The Tagline, where I talk about a movie and state my opinions on it as if they were immutable facts that everyone needs to agree with! I won't be seeing Thor until later this week, so you might all be getting that one next Monday. In the meantime I strive as ever to sift through the backlog, and watch movies I feel would be good to talk about and possibly even be worth watching! To that end, today I will be talking about The Prestige, a movie about stage magicians, deadly tricks, getting your fingers shot off, and guys in mustaches. Also I think it might be about Christopher Nolan's desire to pit Marvel against DC, but I can't necessarily prove that. Starring A less ripped Hugh Jackman (aka The Wolverine) as stage performer Robert Angier, and Christian Bale (aka Batman) as first his colleague and later rival Alfred Borden (which to me just seems weird because everyone knows that Alfred is his butler and he's portrayed by Michael Caine, who also appears prominently in this movie). Things are generally okay between the two, with Angier being the more careful one, and the better performer, and Borden being the more daring one who is better at sleight of hand and illusion. Then Borden maybe ties a bad knot during a show and Angier's wife Julie (Piper Perabo with an English accent oo la la)drowns in a tank (like really really quickly, she drowns in less than two minutes somehow) After this act, Angier and Borden part ways, and attempt to start their own acts. Of course they are both pissed at each other, and so they attempt to sabotage each other's acts. What follows is a series of enterprises and disasters, and a lot of really gruesome injuries.

11.14.2013

Ender's Game

Time to stare out some viewports.
"The future must be won."

Good evening all and welcome back to The Tagline! My apologies for the late review, but it's been... kind of a week. No doubt you have all languished in agony in the intervening hours, wondering what I was doing, and why I had not shared my ESSENTIAL opinions about film with you, on this, the designated day. WELL FEAR NO MORE I'm here now to talk about Ender's Game, based on the iconic science fiction novel of the same name, written by Orson Scott Card (Who has entertained the idea of adapting the book into a movie for some time, I'll get into that a little bit later. Ender's Game, for the uninitiated, is not about a game really, but it is about a boy who has a spectacularly stupid name (Andrew "Ender" Wiggin, ouch mom and dad) who is training to be a strategist. You see, it is the future, and a race of bioelectric charged space bugs tried in the past to colonize the Earth, but were repelled by the combined forces of the human race, and some guy named Rakasakam Robot or something stopped them by crashing his plane into their mothership. The bug aliens (The Formics they're called because they are flying ant-like) have retreated back to their home planet, but the Earth government, fearing their return, is determined to launch a preemptive strike to wipe them all out. At the outset of the movie Ender is seconded for training in battle school, by Colonel Hyrum Graff (Harrison Ford) who believes that Ender is the brilliant strategist they have been looking for.

11.11.2013

Chronicle

They will later fight on the Space Needle.
"It's all fun and games until everybody gets hurt."

Hey all, it's time for more movies at The Tagline. Today I'll be reviewing a movie that falls under my list of "movies I swear I reviewed already but apparently I didn't because they are not in my archives." This is a phenomena that has led observers to believe there is a near parallel universe, where everything is the same except I reviewed some different movies. At any rate, when it was released in February of 2012, I went to go see Chronicle, a found footage style film that sucked way way less than Cloverfield (and not only because it was devoid of the legendary douchebag Hud). Starring Dane Dehaan as Andrew Witmer (who throws up on his long-time girlfriend and now wife Anna Wood during the film) Chronicle follows three high school dudes(Andrew, his cousin Matt, and Matt's friend Steve) who discover a mysterious hole in the ground, in the woods near a rave... in a barn or something. Descending into the hole, they find a mysterious pulsing blue stone, that turns red, causing them to drop in pain and get nosebleeds. Later they discover that they have gained telekinetic abilities from the rock, and things sort of grow from there. Steve is a very driven and popular student, and Matt is a pseudo-intellectual high school douche. Andrew in comparison is a maladjusted loner, with a mother dying from cancer and an alcoholic father, who has a fascination with power and predatory behavior. So you know, basically exactly the sort of person you'd NOT want to have telekinetic abilities, or any kind of super powers, or even a motorcycle permit. maybe this movie is different though, and he won't abuse his abilities?


11.06.2013

Troll 2

Troll squared? What are you trying to tell me.
"Be afraid... be TWICE as afraid!"

It's Thursday, and you know what that means, I've returned to haunt you with more movie reviews! Now many of you are probably at least passing familiar with today's movie, as it has been made popular at least in meme form by the internet. In particular there is one clip that frequently surfaced for a while, catching an especially shitty moment. While it is a funny clip, and certainly representative of the movie, I feel that no short length of the film can really encompass in all its grandeur the sheer insane shitty-ness of this movie. From opening credits to close this movie is sucking at 100% capacity like an industrial vacuum cleaning up a basement flooded by a burst septic system. Before I really get into the heart of the matter, I wanted to note a few things about the movie. Firstly, while the company that produced it bought the rights to Troll the first (because it experienced very mild financial success, despite also being dross) this movie has no relation to that one at all. Second, there are no trolls at any point in the movie. There are only goblins. The movie even specifically refers to them AS goblins, so that's important too. Third, the movie was produced and directed by an entirely Italian crew, and none of them spoke English, except for a set or costume designer (I don't remember which) who interpreted. Fourth, the entire cast auditioned for parts as extras, but were then cast in leading roles. Most are incredibly ashamed of this film, so I will refrain from referring to them by anything but their character names. None of them went on to anything much better anyway, so mentioning their names would only serve to further their already considerable public humiliation. Speaking of, let's talk about the movie itself.

11.04.2013

The Heat

This is kind of awesome.
"Good Cop, Mad Cop."

Hello friends, neighbors, and internet recluses! It's a new week, and that means more movies, straight from my basement, out to you on the www. Today I thought I'd talk about a movie that I'd heard was funny, but still didn't go to see, because it starred people I didn't like very much. That movie is The Heat, a buddy cop comedy (or not so buddy at the beginning I guess) starring Melissa McCarthy and Sandra Bullock as a vulgar and violent beat cop named Mullins and a prim and proper FBI agent named Ashburn respectively (WOW THAT'S TOTALLY ORIGINAL RIGHT) who must team up for a variety of contrived reasons to fight drug guys and murder guys and other unsavory criminal types. For anyone who has lived for a time on the planet Earth, during an era where film exists, this plot probably sounds slightly less than original, and I'm not going to stand here in front of you and try to insist that THIS TIME things are different because they've CROSSED THE LINE. I'm not a voice over guy for movie commercials in the early 90s. Whenever you watch a movie like this (or like say 21 Jump Street) you are not watching because the originality of the premise is so fantastic. That can be true of a lot of movies though, certainly I wouldn't imagine that fans of romantic comedy watch the movies because they suspect that this time things will be different (though it would be funny if say the romantic conclusion was spoiled by an atomic apocalypse or something similar). The Heat managed to accomplish the best that basically any buddy cop comedy can hope, which is to be pretty consistently amusing and not painfully grating.


10.30.2013

The Conjuring

I'm not really sure what they conjured.
"Based on the true case files of the Warrens"

Welcome to Halloween everyone! As promised, I will continue my reign of terror, or rather terror will continue to reign over us all, with my last horror post for a little while, I hope, because I am sick of watching horror movies (I'm not that super into them to begin with so I definitely need a break). Today I will be talking about The Conjuring, which was BASED ON TRUE EVENTS AND HAPPENED NEAR WHERE I LIVE WOOOOOOooOOOOoooOO (Well it's a ways away in Rhode Island, but it's less than an hour from my hometown. Also the real life Warrens, who I will say mean things about in a little while, have their home/occult museum in Moroe, CT, which I'm also pretty close to). As always I will open by exploring the "based on a true story" angle of the movie, and move on from there. I'm not saying oh yeah this totally happened (especially considering the by most accounts totally bogus Amityville Horror case, which was also first investigated by the Warrens). So how much of this is based on things that were at least reported to have happened? Well the details evidently are very different, but the basic premise is based on reported events. The Perrons are a real family, they really lived in a house in Harrisville, and they reported a lot of paranormal stuff happening to them in the farmhouse where they lived for some 10 odd years. The Warrens really did pop up one day, and they performed a seance (not an exorcism) that by all accounts of present parties went completely fuckballs. The Warrens and Perrons in real life did not part on super terms, reportedly the Warrens being around just made stuff worse. Andrea Perron, the oldest daughter, has written two books on her experiences and has a third planned. The details of the haunting are substantially different than the movie, but unlike my reading into The Amityville Horror, there's no obvious confession that it's entirely made up. So there that is.


10.28.2013

Night of The Living Dead Live Rifftrax Special

A million Taglines!
"They keep coming back in a bloodthirsty lust for HUMAN FLESH!..."

Good morning to everyone, it's the week of Halloween so I thought I would report back about my trip to the live Rifftrax show I went to see on Thursday, where the MST3K gang (That is, Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett) were picking apart George Romero's original ‘zombie’ film, Night of the Living Dead. This was the cult hit that spawned what we now consider to be the modern zombie film. Featuring an ensemble cast of unlikeable jagoffs who stupidly board themselves into a rickety old house, Night of the Living Dead is as much as social commentary as it is a horror movie. Really the movie has a lot to say about the era in which it was made (at which time it was a seriously controversial film, I’ll talk a bit more about that later). It’s always interesting to watch a movie from so long ago, and read people’s reactions to it, then weighed against my own reactions, watching it long after its creation. Consider for a minute that when this movie came out, it was considered gruesomely gory and violent. It was considered to be so graphic that it was described by many censors as being 'the pornography of violence'. To a modern audience this is hilarious, the movie is black and white for starters, and the low budget (around 111,000 dollars) meant that even in black and white the effects seem silly to someone in 2013. At the time however, the depictions of people being murdered and of ghoulish, reanimated corpses devouring the remains of their victims was terrifying. Also without a standard rating system, even small children got into the theater to see this movie, and you can imagine about how well that probably went over.

10.23.2013

This is The End

Weirdest episode of Undeclared ever.
"Nothing ruins a party like the end of the world."

Hello all, and welcome back to The Tagline! As Halloween approaches it seems only fitting that I should address the subject of demons and the apocalypse, and so following that theme I decided to finally watch This is the End, a film basically about the cast of Judd Apatow productions experiencing the end of days. The movie starts with Jay Baruchel arriving to hang out with Seth Rogen, and then going to a party at James Franco's house, despite Jay's reservations (as he isn't really into the whole 'Hollywood lifestyle thing' and Franco's party is totally out of control). After some weird encounters with Franco (who seems really obsessed with Seth Rogen) and Jonah Hill (who acts really fake nice to Baruchel) Seth and Jay go to a convenience store to get some smokes. There they experience a huge earthquake, and then witness people being carried away in columns of blue light. The two run back to Franco's house amidst the carnage, where no one has noticed. Then a giant rift opens in the Earth, and a whole bunch of people die, horribly, including Michael Cera, so that was pretty cool. In the aftermath, Rogen, Baruchel, Hill, Franco, and Craig Robinson are the only ones left in Franco's house (actually Danny McBride is passed out in the bathtub, but they don't know that). The group resolve to barricade themselves inside the house, and wait for help. As you might guess, help is not forthcoming.


10.21.2013

The Bling Ring

Excellent choice of font.
"Living the Dream, One Heist at a Time."

Proving again that dreams can be at LEAST as boring and stupid as real life! Welcome to a new week at The Tagline, as we are rounding out the spookiest month of the year with a movie that was certainly a horrifying experience after a fashion. That is to say, I was horrified that I was watching it, and that a 90 minute run time could feel like and unending prison sentence, which is funny considering the subject matter. Today I'm going to talk about director Sofia Coppola's The Bling Ring, what is described as a "satirical black comedy crime film" based on true events revolving around a group of teens who burglarized the homes of a number of celebrities including Paris Hilton (They actually robbed her half a dozen times if accounts are to be believed). The movie stars mostly unknown young actors as the members of the eponymous Bling Ring, with the exception of Emma Watson, who trades being brainy Hermione for being maybe the dumbest human being alive, Nicki (Also if you watch American Horror Story Taissa Farmiga, who was the daughter Violet in season 1, is in this movie). The cast is rounded out with cameos of people who were robbed, Leslie Mann who plays Nicki's mother, and Gavin Rossdale (the frontman for Bush) who portrays a scumbag who helps teenage robbers fence Rolex watches. The movie is shot jumping between scenes of the actual crimes and of the burgling teens being interviewed after the fact. Either way.... I wasn't especially impressed.

10.17.2013

Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Look at that stern ape.
“Evolution Becomes Revolution”

Hey y’all welcome to The Tagline! As promised, today I will NOT be talking about a horror movie, but you will probably be sad by the time I’m done. Today I will be talking about the 2011 Rise of the Planet of the Apes. For those of you who remember the film Outbreak, just think of that, only also there are super intelligent primates. That is basically what’s on offer here, but I’m getting a little bit ahead of myself so let’s back it up. Rise does not exist in continuity with any other Planet of the Apes movie, instead it is an origin story independent from all the others and intended to kick off a new series of films. At the same time, the movie aims to be consistent in theme with the original movies. To compare, the director Rupert Wyatt said his aim was similar to what was done in Batman Begins. How successful was he at that? Look under the cut to find out! (OH THE SUSPENSE DON’T YOU FEEL DRAWN IN)


10.14.2013

The People Under the Stairs

THE SKULLS IN THE SKY
"In every neighborhood there is one house that adults whisper about and children cross the street to avoid."

Presumably on Wes Craven's street that is his house! Welcome back to The Tagline everyone, today I will keep the ball rolling with more sort of horror, brought to you from the master of poor timing and genre confusion, Wes Craven! To be honest, I had previously not seen enough Wes Craven movies to entirely connect the dots. I had seen the Freddy movies, I'd seen Vampire in Brooklyn (more on that disaster here) and I'd watched cumulatively maybe like 2/3rds of a Scream movie (of which I believe there are approximately 700 thousand). Looking back now, I can see a common pattern of terrible timing, intermixing scenes of gruesome brutality and child abuse, with goofy Home Alone style kid's movie humor and slapstick. So just as we saw in Vampire in Brooklyn, so too shall we see today in The People Under the Stairs, a heartwarming tale about a young boy nicknamed Fool, who goes on a mission to steal gold from the cruel rich landlords trying to evict his family from their tenement in the ghetto. That sounds like a kid's movie right? Well hold on, let me add a little more context and then we'll see if you still feel the same way.

10.09.2013

Anonymous

No probably not.
"Was Shakespeare a Fraud?"

Welcome to Thursday at The Tagline! Because I'm sure everyone else in the world is as interested in movies about conjectural British History during the Elizabethan Era, I thought today I would review Anonymous, which finally made its way to the top of my "Stuff I'll Watch Some Day" list over the weekend. Starring Rhys Ifans (He was Curt Connors in The Amazing Spider-Man) as Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford, who if you know your English history was notable as a patron of the arts during the reign of Elizabeth Tudor, and also was notable as a general fuck-up, who was born as heir to the second oldest and perhaps richest earldom in the kingdom, and died having lost his entire estate and fortune, over a long life of mishaps, intrigue, and failed ventures. The movie puts forth, as a number of people have since the late 1920s, that Shakespeare was not the author of his works. Instead, Oxfordian theorists suggest that Edward de Vere was the true author, and that for various political reasons he chose to remain anonymous. This historically real and factually tenuous theory is the central conceit in the movie, and Oxford's love of poetry and theater (which is a matter of historical record) at odds with the puritanical views of the ruthless Cecils (well they're played as the villains in the movie) serve to propel the tragic events of the plot forward. I beg everyone to forgive me, because I am incapable of divorcing my experience with this movie from both literary scholarship and English history (and really if you are aware of either I don't see how you could) and so this post may end up being a history lesson in addition to being about a movie. 

10.07.2013

World War Z

God that's stupid looking.
The War is Here (IN IMAX 3D!!!!!!!).

Hey everyone welcome back to The Tagline! It's October, and I've been listing into the horror genre since early September, so I figured I'd keep the ball rolling and finally watch World War Z, a movie I'd previously avoided because it had some of the shittiest trailers I had ever seen. Were I to judge based solely on the trailer, I would assert that World War Z were the shittiest movie about zombies ever made, and let's be honest here, that is a pretty damning statement all things considered. Fortunately, this movie isn't THAT stupid, so we're all spared from me having to compare it unfavorably to a movie called zombie poledancers from hell or something. Let's all at least take solace in that. World War Z is a zombie movie made by Brad Pitt, with Brad Pitt, and for Brad Pitt, cashing in on the best selling book of the same name. Allow me to assert an important point however, which is that this movie has little to nothing to do with World War Z, save that they both involve some variety of 'zombie' and also sometimes guys call zombies 'zekes' I guess. In order to get anything but rage and chagrin from this movie, you must forget that there is a book by the same name. Taken as an adaptation World War Z is a ridiculous failure. Taken as just an action movie about zombies, it fares considerably better.

10.02.2013

The Hole

The HOLE OOHHH YEAHH BABY.
"School is out, Terror has begun."

Welcome to The Tagline: Part 2! Last time I explored the fucked up head of Rob Zombie, who likes making his wife do weird sex stuff on camera, which is cool I guess if that's what they're into. Today we'll be exploring the fucked up head of the most twisted individuals who exist in the world. That's right, students at British prep schools! (DUN DUN DUUUUN!) Today I'm going to be continuing my in depth coverage of movies you can watch on Netflix, with The Hole. Contrary to what it sounds like, The Hole is not a minimalist porno, rather it is a 2001 film about some prep students who get stuck... down in a hole. Well okay that's a bit of a simplification too. Starring Thora Birch as Liz Dunn (of course you all remember Thora Birch as the little sister in Hocus Pocus right? No? Enid in the Ghost World movie? Anyone?) a girl who at the beginning of the movie stumbles into her prep school covered in blood, clearly intensely messed up. She recounts to a police psychologist the story of how she and three other students locked themselves into an old bunker, so that they could have some "alone time" (i.e. do drugs and have sex. Only teenagers would find the idea of being locked in a derelict bunker appealing). This is part of Liz's efforts to draw in her crush Mark (Desmond Harrington, you probably know him better as Quinn from Dexter. Yeah how weird is that shit), and Mark's friend Geoff's efforts to bang Liz's best friend Frankie (Kiera Knightly, who was actually 16 at the time damn she's younger than I thought she was). Sounds like pretty normal teenage bullshit, until the door slams shut and doesn't open back up.

9.30.2013

The Lords of Salem

Featuring All Tomorrow's Parties
"The Lords Are Coming."

Good Morning everyone, it's a new week and a new month, and that means it's time for more movies at The Tagline! I figured since it's now October, I should start the month off right with a movie about witches, the occult, and worshiping Satan, and maybe the birth of the Antichrist. If you're looking for one stop shopping in the satanic bloodbath department, I feel like you can't find a much surer thing than Rob Zombie, so I decided to take a peek at The Lords of Salem, his most recent film, released only in a limited circuit this past April. Starring Sheri Moon Zombie (Rob Zombie's wife, see more of her bare-caboose here in Zombie's remake of Halloween) as Heidi, a recovering smack-head radio DJ who gets a weird wooden box with a record inside it. This insidious sounding music disk is addressed specifically to her, left at her office by a group calling themselves the "Lords of Salem", and starting a chain of events that leads Heidi down a dark, dark path from which she may not return. Also featured prominently in this film is Bruce Davison (who you may remember was the lead in The Lathe of Heaven) who portrays Francis Matthias, a writer and historian who is disturbed and intrigued by the music and the name Lords of Salem, and attempts to unravel the mystery behind the record. Also Sid Haig appears briefly, because I mean really how could he not this movie is directed by Rob Zombie get real. This movie was met with a mixed reaction by critics as well as by fans of Rob Zombie, and why that was became immediately apparent to me after watching this movie for about ten minutes.


9.25.2013

Drinking Buddies

This sums up the whole movie.
"A comedy about knowing when to say when."

Hey everyone, welcome back to The Tagline! I'm attempting to get through The Mortal Instruments, which I swear to god has to be like 70 hours long (that's how the first 40 minutes felt at least) so in the mean time I'll have to entertain us by talking about that not so good movie that I watched over the weekend. That movie was Drinking Buddies, a thrilling film with the tagline above, that I think was dubiously about any of those words. Starring Anna Kendrick (see her more relevant work here), Jake Johnson (his more relevant work here) Olivia Wilde (All over the place, here have Deadfall) and Ron Livingston (The guy from Office Space you know) as they drink lots of beer and carry on with their intensely mundane existences. It features drinking in a bar, making phone calls to potential clients, walking in the woods, and moving furniture. Yeah I can see you all practically falling off your chairs you're so into it. I'm gonna go into more detail though, so hold onto your hats kiddies.

9.23.2013

Olympus Has Fallen

On that day we received a grim reminder...
"When our flag falls our nation will rise."
Good morning boys and girls, it's the beginning of another thrilling week at The Tagline! (maybe it's actually night, I post these in the evening the day before so if that's so good evening you early readers you) In an effort to counteract my almost complete inability to go to the movies I have acquired a substantial stockpile of films to watch in the comfort of my own home. Some of these movies I think have at the very least the potential to entertain me. Some others I downloaded specifically because I think they will suck ass, and I know how amusing you all find it when I complain. The first one I decided to watch... was not very good, and I might talk about it later. Not now though, today I'm going to be talking about Olympus Has Fallen, released this past March, and featuring Gerard Butler as ex-Secret Service agent Mike Banning, who is trying to save the president (Aaron Eckhart, so Harvey Dent is the president in this movie) after a terrorist attack on the White House. I know what you are probably already thinking, "wow isn't THAT the most original plot to a movie ever!" Well no it isn't but bear with me here, it isn't as bad as you might think. After a car accident on a snowy death road results in the death of the first lady (Butler's character chooses to save the president but doesn't have time to get her out before the car falls off a cliff) Banning is removed from the presidential detail, relegated to a mundane desk job. During a meeting with the prime minister of South Korea, the White House is attacked, first by a gunship which initiates a terror attack on the streets around the White House, and then later by a ground assault, resulting in a considerable amount of death and destruction.


9.18.2013

American Mary

She never wears anything this conservative
while hacking people up.
"She's an artist."

Hello all! It's Thursday at The Tagline and you know what that means! It means a Canadian actress is going to surgically split your tongue and then cut your dick off! If that sounds like just another Friday night to you, well you scare the ever-loving shit out of me then! If it sounds kind of crazy, then you'll probably react similar to the way I did when I start talking about my movie for today, American Mary (which is funny because it was shot in Canada and is full of Canadians). Starring Katherine Isabelle (maybe best remembered as Ginger from the Canadian Werewolf/puberty metaphor film Ginger Snaps) as the titular Mary (and believe me theres a fair bit of titular going around in this film if you know what I mean), American Mary is a kind of freaky revenge horror movie directed by the Soska Sisters, best known for being really creepy Hungarian twins (I mean I don't think they're best known for much of anything, but they are creepy, and twins, and appear in the movie, presumably as creepier versions of their real-life selves.)  Mary is a medical school student aspiring to be a surgeon, more or less immediately alerting you that the plot is going to take a bad turn sooner or later. Mary is strapped for cash, but also appears to have a robust collection of fancy fetish-wear (maybe she was planning for this exact moment I don't know), so to try and make ends meet while she's in school she decides to resort to stripping (I know ITS SHOCKING WHO EVER HEARD OF SUCH A THING). When she arrives at the strip club, instead she is drawn down into the sub-basement by the owner Billy after he finds out she is a med-school student training to be a surgeon. He wants her to keep a guy who had been tortured alive, which she does because she's offered 5000 smackers, in cash money. Who can blame her right? Things sort of proceed as you'd expect from thereOR DO THEY.


9.16.2013

Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters

My favorite Transformers movie.
Hey y'all, welcome to another week at The Tagline! Today because I haven't watched any new movies and I'm kind of feeling like a jerk, I'm going to talk about that sequel to the Percy Jackson movie that came out like a month ago. Most of the time, most people I think go to movies because they imagine there is at least a chance that they will be half-way decent. In comparison, I often go to movies because I know they will be regrettable shitshows. I crave that kind of sordid fuckfest, the way normal people crave actually good movies. Do I take a twisted enjoyment out of movies that are comically awful? Yes, I certainly do (On that score I am filled with regret that my schedule has yet to permit The Mortal Instruments into my viewing area. I think that is definitely what I'm after, but it still eludes me). This was the general attitude that drew me into the theater in August to go see Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters, the sequel to Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief. Both are based at least nominally on a series of young adult books, all focusing on the eponymous Percy Jackson(the kid from Perks of Being a Wallflower, who is a scion of the god Poseidon. He hangs out with all his half godly friends at a camp which is specially set aside for them, with a really stupid name (Camp Halfblood how creative right?) After the events of the first movie, where Percy stopped some bad god related stuff from happening, Percy has been experiencing a dry spell. In the hero department I mean. Probably in other departments too, he only hangs around this one Athena daughter who's clearly not giving him any action, and this other Mars daughter who is just making him look like a chump all the time.


9.11.2013

Whisper of the Heart


FIRST TIME ON DVD OH WOW.
"Suki na hito ga dekimashita."

Hello all, welcome to Thursday's edition of THE TAGLINE!!! (look how excited I am!) Today as promised, I will be talking about an animated movie that is in content the exact opposite of Tuesday's Perfect Blue, a movie about fantasy, madness, and violence. Today I will be talking about Studio Ghibli's Whisper of the Heart (originally Mimi wo Sumaseba in Japanese) a movie that is also about finding oneself, but with markedly less nude corpses and blood in low-rise apartments. Whisper of the Heart is, I think I've mentioned in previous posts (maybe when I reviewed Arrietty?) my favorite Studio Ghibli movie, which may make me some kind of iconoclast because it was not directed by Hayao Miyazaki (though he did write the screenplay). Instead, Whisper of the Heart was directed by Yoshifumi Kondo, an animator at Studio Ghibli who at the time was expected to eventually succeed Miyazaki and Takahata as Ghibli's pre-eminent animator. This was not meant to be however, as Kondo died of an Aortic dissection (or possibly an aneurysm) as a result of overwork (this is cited perhaps as one of the reasons why Miyazaki began to work at a more relaxed pace afterwards). Kondo was only 47, and Whisper of the Heart would unfortunately be the only movie he directed before his death. Given how good Whisper of the Heart was, I can say honestly the world was robbed of a great animator much too soon (the same could be said of Satoshi Kon, and I AM saying it now, gosh I didn't mean to review two animated movies by directors who died young. Sorry guys). Anyway, that's enough of the macabre, let's instead focus on Kondo's charming movie, which I absolutely loved.


9.09.2013

Perfect Blue

Looks like a healthy girl right?
"The color of illusion is Perfect Blue."

Hello everyone and welcome back to The Tagline! Today I decided I would take a break from psychologically disturbed movies soaked with violence and twisted sexual motifs, and talk about an animated movie that is... all of those things I just said. Written and directed by Satoshi Kon, who's final theatrical length work Paprika might be better known to my writers, Perfect Blue was released in 1998 and is about a J-pop idol named Mima who decides to become an actress. This seems to be going well until she is cast in a role that includes a rape scene (that she assents to despite some hesitation), and then spirals into psychological confusion and madness, while being stalked by a 'fan' calling themselves Me-Mania. To make matters worse, someone claiming to be Mima is keeping a detailed public journal of her life, leading Mima to question whether or not she is going coocoo batshit crazytown. This situation is complicated still further when everyone around her start dying grisly deaths, as the result of an unknown killer, possibly the aforementioned Me-Mania. While the primary plot's affinity for violence and sexualization might at first blush seem unrefined, the direction of the plot is nuanced and pointedly raises questions about certain aspects of Japanese pop-culture.


9.04.2013

The World's End

Three cheers for lotsa beers!
"Good food. Fine ales. Total Annihilation."

Hello all and welcome to Thursday's installation of The Tagline! Today, as mentioned, I will be talking about The World's End, a comedy starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. This film marks the end of the "Three Flavours Cornetto" trilogy, an arrangement of films all directed by Edgar Wright, written by Wright and Simon Pegg, and starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost (the other two being Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz). This particular entry stars Pegg as Gary King, what I'd describe as a Grade-A Fuck-up, who gets his group of (very reluctant) high school buddies back together so that they can attempt a feat they failed in their youth: to drink their way through the 12 pubs of their hometown, one after another, in rapid succession. Despite their general disinterest and apparent resentment towards Gary, his four friends Peter, Oliver, Steven, and Andy (Frost) all agree to come along, after some cajoling/deceiving (also worth noting, if you want to establish the hierarchy of this group of friends, their last names conveniently organize them: Peter Page, Oliver Chamberlain, Steven Prince, and Andy Knightly) and it isn't long into the endeavor that things start to seem rather strange. At first noting the homogeneity of their former haunts, it becomes quickly evident that the pubs aren't the only things being homogenized. The town of Newton Haven has been invaded by... robots! Or, not robots, because they aren't slaves... no-bots. Well they aren't people!


9.02.2013

The Apple

The fact that this made it to DVD is troubling.
"A Funky Fantasy That'll Rock Your World!"

Hello and welcome to a new week of horror and confusion here at The Tagline! Today as long threatened I will be talking about a movie I was exposed to several weeks ago, the way you might be exposed to high amounts of radiation, or a deadly plague. I will say for the record that no, I did not sit through this whole movie without assistance, I was watching the Rifftrax for it, and even then this movie was so enchantingly horrible that it was sometimes difficult to focus on the riffs over all of the disco music and bedazzled packages. Made on the leading edge of the 80s (1980 exactly) when the grisly hold of disco had loosened, but not yet let go completely. This movie reminds us all of those dark times. Also it reminds us that sequined banana hammocks are not a good idea, ever ever ever. Set in the distant future of 1994, The Apple is maybe the most ham-fisted movie about the rapture ever produced. The plot revolves around a couple from Moose Jaw, Canada that sings really bad folk love songs, and attempt to win over a crowd at some sort of... music contest or something in the US? Probably sit down, the stupidity of this plot might knock you over.


8.28.2013

You're Next

Add disco lights and it's Hotline Miami.
"Did you remember to lock your door?"

Hello and welcome to Thursday at The Tagline! I know I promised you a psychedelic disco dance through a garden of bedazzled banana hammocks today, but I saw another movie on Monday night and decided that I'm not quite ready to relive the horror of a cut-rate 1980 musical. So you all get a stay of execution, while I talk about You're Next, a movie where no one gets a stay of execution. Whenever a horror movie manages to claw itself out of the 10-30% range of critical reception, I sort of feel compelled to go see it, if only to deduce whether the positive reviews are stemming from the movie being good, or the movie being just pretentious enough to garner favor. When a movie makes the jump from film festival to wide release, that also gets my attention. So it was with You're Next, a movie first screened in 2011 at the Toronto International Film Festival, that presents itself as a home invasion movie, and then... takes a bit of a turn. Like any good movie about people being murdered in their home, this movie takes place in the middle of nowhere, at the home of the Davisons. The very huge, one might almost say palatial, home of the Davisons. To be more specific, the vacation home of Paul and his wife Aubrey, where they plan to host a reunion of sorts with their three sons, their daughter, and whatever spousal refuse they track in with them (like Ti West in a hipster scarf for instance. Gross). Things are going to get really spoilery under the cut, so prepare yourself and you've been warned.


8.26.2013

Kick-Ass 2

I heard a mom calling this comic
Kick-Butt to her small child in a comic
shop last month.
"You Can't Fight Your Destiny."

Hello everyone, welcome back to The Tagline! Today as promised I will be talking about Kick-Ass 2, the sequel to 2010's film Kick-Ass, itself based on a comic book series of the same name, originally released in 2008. Kick-Ass 2's plot line vaguely coincides with the events of the Hit-Girl and Kick-Ass 2 comics, though the differences in detail are substantial enough that I won't be using the events in the comic as a metric for what goes on in the movies (and that's okay to do get over it seriously it's an ADAPTATION not a SCREEN CLONE). The film chronicle's Kick-Ass' attempts to step up his game and become a "real" superhero, joining the ranks of costumed do-gooders who were inspired by his actions in the original film. Meanwhile Mindy/Hit-Girl is forced into retirement by her adoptive father Marcus, and is subsequently drawn into a Mean Girls style high school nightmare. While all this is going on, Chris D'Amico, formerly Red Mist, has vowed revenge against Kick-Ass, and so assumes the persona of The Motherfucker, forming his own group of supervillains using the considerable wealth left to him by his dead father. What follows is every bit as violent as you would be led to expect from the first film.


8.21.2013

Halloween (2007)


I can tell from the grainy filter shit just
got REAL BITCHES.
"Evil Unmasked."

Welcome back to The Tagline! I DID see Kick-Ass 2, and you'll hear about it soon, but while I compose my thoughts about it, I'll talk about a Rob Zombie movie instead. No it is not House of 1000 Corpses. I'm talking about the 2007 re-boot of the Halloween franchise, attempting to recover from the Busta Rhymes fueled crapstorm that was the 2002 Halloween: Resurrection (which I heartily recommend you see if only to watch Busta do Karate at Michael Myers). With Rob Zombie at the helm, we could all rest assured that it would be filled with blood, boobs, and people's butt cracks. Lady butts more specifically. His wife's butt most MOST specifically. Because he's just a classy dude like that, and his wife portrays Michael Myers mom who is a pole dancer also. So there's something right off the bat to look forward to! I guess! As mentioned, this film re-imagines the origin story of Michael Myers, starting with a flashback to his childhood, where we first see how shitty his life is, and then get to watch him massacre most of his family in a variety of seriously grisly ways. This sequence makes a good argument for never getting so drunk that you don't notice someone duct taping you in place to your recliner so he can slit your throat. After this charming sequence and a fair amount of boobs and butts, we spend some time observing the troubled young lad's therapy sessions in an asylum, with Dr. Loomis (Malcom McDowell, who I have a tough time not finding creepy no matter what). Then he kills some more people, but there are no butts in this part, so generally that was kind of a let down. We do get to see that the kid is a real aficionado of mask making. Paper mache in particular. He is a really talented fellow in that regard, if you want a horrible nightmare mask to wear around. Which naturally everyone does right?


8.19.2013

G.I. Joe: Retaliation

Go Joe or... go home?
"Retaliation."

It's another splendid August day, and time for more movies of questionable quality, value, or cultural significance. In the wake of a battery of really negative reviews for Kick-Ass 2 I am dragging my feet to go out and see it, and so now instead have started chipping away at my block of "movies I downloaded that have The Rock in them". Today I'm going to be talking about G.I. Joe: Retaliation, the sequel to 2009's Rise of Cobra. The first movie was... certainly a movie with characters in it. It had Marlon Wayans in it so you can probably use your own discretion there to deduce the overall quality of the film. It also had Channing Tatum, an actor who I find is actually pretty good at being a funny sort of meat head in films (see my review of 21 Jump Street). Here he was leading man/ new G.I. Joe Duke. Inexplicably it had Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Cobra Commander, and that was sort of difficult to wrap my head around but hey there it is. Together under the command of Dennis Quaid these characters stopped Destro and "The Doctor" (soon to be Cobra Commander) from using nano-machines to take over the world (yes this is G.I. Joe so the bad guys want to take over the world obviously).


8.14.2013

Elysium

This is not Halo... okay well it sort of is.
"He can save us."

Hello everyone, welcome back to The Tagline! As promised, yesterday I went to the movies to see Elysium, and I got a lot more than I bargained for. Starring Matt Damon as Max, a former criminal now factory worker, Elysium is set in the future, in the year 2154. The Earth as far as we see is an almost entirely dessicated rock, overcrowded and completely polluted. The wealthy elite live in a space habitat called Elysium, where they have magic tubes that keep them from aging or being sick, and they live in opulent space luxury. Meanwhile on Earth people struggle to survive, and mostly seem to be failing. Max is among these people and let me run you through a quick day in the life: Leave early for work, get hassled by some bangers about working. Get stopped by robot police, make a sarcastic joke, have your arm broken by said robot police. Report to a robotic parole officer, who adds eight months to your parole, and does the robot equivalent of telling you to piss off. Offers you pills for your anger. Finally get to awful dangerous factory job, get docked half a day's pay for being late because robots assaulted you while waiting for the bus. The next day, basically be forced into a radioactive pressure cooker, be exposed to a lethal dose of rads, get given some pills by a robot and told you're dead in 5 days. Welcome to the future.


8.12.2013

Pitch Perfect

AW YEAH LOOK AT THOSE GLASSES.
"Get Pitch Slapped."

Hello everyone, and welcome back to The Tagline! It's another week and I have more movies, more rambling, maybe more anecdotal evidence that my life is an ever-changing landscape of humiliation and debasement. Okay, so there are DEFINITELY movies at the very least. Last week, people all around me reminded me that Anna Kendrick was having a birthday. Now for those of you who neither know nor care who Anna Kendrick is, well she is the leading lady in Pitch Perfect among other things. I know I shouldn't mention that she was a supporting character in the Twilight movies, but I'm going to, she did that, and now we all have to live with the repercussions of her actions. That being said, I was trying hard not to hold that against her when I went into this movie. Besides, she was also in Up in the Air, and that was a pretty good movie, something that Twilight movies wouldn't know anything about, on the grounds that they are all uniformly horrible. Well that's not true, each is awful in a special way but I'm getting off track here.


8.07.2013

Super 8

I'd never seen this poster before. Cool.
"It arrives."

It does! Welcome back to the Tagline, where I am constantly feeling like I already wrote this review, but I find no archive of it, leading me to believe that I experience an alternate version of my blog as I sleep. Anyway, last time I savagely attacked Cloverfield, much as the monster attacked New York, and Hud attacked human decency. This was a movie produced by J.J. Abrams, about a big monster killing people. That being said, J.J. didn't write it, and he didn't direct it, so it doesn't seem fair to stick him with all the blame. For the sake of fairness, I thought I would give him a fair shake and talk about Super 8, another movie where some people have a camera and film a monster, and then stuff happens. Super 8 is a very different movie though. For starters, it doesn't use a found footage contrivance, and so at times the characters can not have cameras without it ending the movie. Also, Hud is not in the movie, and that makes it a lot better overall. If you are wondering, it may be several more days before I stop commenting about what an unbelievable chode Hud is. I'll try to reign it in but I can't make any promises. Anyway, Super 8 takes place in the 70s, and follows a group of kids who are trying to film a low budget zombie movie. This effort is spearheaded by the group's fledgling film buff Charles, who wants to film a shot at a train station in town, to add authenticity to a scene in the film. They want to get a shot just as a train is coming through. When they are filming this shot, a truck is driven onto the tracks, causing the train to derail and explode and almost kill them all. They discover that the man driving the truck was their biology teacher, who warns them to get scarce. They do right before a bunch of government vehicles swarm the scene.

8.05.2013

Cloverfield

Experience the mild motion sickness...OF THE YEAR
"Some Thing Has Found Us."

With an intelligent tagline like that, we HAVE to be in for something good right? Welcome back to THE Tagline everyone, today as promised I will spill all of my negative feelings about Cloverfield a movie about love, a giant monster, and some asshole named Hud. Cloverfield is a film that,is shot in the "found footage from some guy who was there" style, just like the much better Troll Hunter, which I reviewed a few weeks ago. This is a nice place to start, because while they use the same style to film, in one movie that makes sense, and in the other it is a strained, and then later patently ridiculous device that makes absolutely no sense in the context of the movie. This is of course one of many elements of the movie that are either stupid or totally nonsensical. I bet some of you who have had the good fortune of not viewing this movie are wondering what it's all about? Well that's why I'm here. To hurt you that way.

7.31.2013

The Wolverine

Huge JackedMan in: The Wolverine
"The hero. The fugitive. The warrior. The survivor. The legend."

Hey everyone, welcome to another review from The Tagline! I know I promised another round of bitter fury today, but I decided that I would save some of my vitriol for next week, just to give my hate batteries time to recharge (I run on hate batteries, they are eco-friendly). With that in mind, and heeding the generous 66% RT was offering for it, I went to see The Wolverine, the second film based solely on the eponymous Wolverine, and the 5th film in a single X-Men continuity (this becomes clear as the movie continues, and is one of the more startling aspects of the movie, more on that later). It follows Logan (Hugh Jackman, with his trendy Wolverine hair) as he attempts to cope with the aftermath of the events that took place in X3 (and I mean who can blame him, I wanted to become an alcoholic hermit in the woods too after that movie). In particular he experiences what seem to be vivid hallucinations of Jean Grey (Famke Janssen) due to his guilt over killing her (SPOILERS OH NO WHAT HAVE I DONE, seriously though X3 was a waking nightmare). While visiting town so he can stab some guys in the hand for illegal bear hunting practices, Logan encounters a Japanese Ninja Punk Girl who informs him that a guy he saved from being nuclear exploded in WWII wants to see him. In Japan. Obviously. Of course, the man's intentions are... less than honorable.

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