Safety Not Guaranteed

They do look dangerously hip don't they? I don't feel safe.
"What would you go back for?"

Hi everyone, welcome to today's edition of The Tagline! Today's Netflix offering is a movie about depressing losers who have no prospects on life, and stumble through an empty wasteland, fixated on the past. This is Safety Not Guaranteed, a film that debuted at the Sundance Film Festival in 2012. Starring Aubrey Plaza (who is really great in Parks and Rec!) as Darius Britt, an (unsurprisingly) anti-social and discontent college graduate who lives at home and interns at a magazine in Seattle. At the suggestion of Jeff (Jake Johnson, probably best known right now for his role as Nick on Zooey Deschanel's series New Girl), one of the magazine's writers  suggests they do a piece on a guy who has posted a wanted ad for a partner to go back in time with him. Jeff brings Darius and super nerd intern Arnau with him, and they investigate if the guy who made the ad is trolling the newspaper, or legitimately cocoa for coocoo poops.


The Adventures of Milo & Otis

Aww this will be adorable OR
"Milo is one lucky cat. He's got nine lives and a best friend."
Hello everyone, welcome back to The Tagline! Initially it had been my plan to take some cheap shots at a crummy movie. Then, I thought to myself "hey you should do another action movie, you have a never-ending supply of THOSE" but finally, during a conversation with a friend I was reminded of this film, which sparked all sorts of long repressed emotions and is now forcing us all on a trip down the misty and fogged lane that is my distant memory. Once upon a time, there was a little boy (me) who by some turn of fate ended up with this movie on VHS (I was very little, and VHS was still a thing) and as I was wont to do with any film or anything I owned, I watched it all the time, regardless of how it made me feel, because when you are a small child you don't really think about why you are doing things too much. You just sort of do them. Oh this movie is in front of me? THEN I WILL WATCH IT OVER AND OVER. For those who do not know (until I did some basic research I did not know) The Adventures of Milo and Otis was a film originally released in Japan in 1986 as Koneko Monogatari, where it was apparently the most popular film of that year (wow.) and it was later totally revamped and released in 1989 in the US, as the Adventures of Milo and Otis, with an English voice-overs, reworked music and film etc. etc. it was a very different movie. Either way, the film follows Milo (who is a cat) and his friend Otis, as they grow up on a farm and then have adventures out in the wide world. It is tagged (as above) as a lovable joyous romp of adorable animals. See Milo, being the cat, is the one who gets into trouble and floats in a box down the river, and Otis, sensible fellow he is, follows dutifully after to try and find his friend. That sounds nice right? WRONG, THAT DESCRIPTION DOESN'T MENTION THE EMOTIONAL DESOLATION MY YOUNG HEART WAS TO EXPERIENCE.


Warm Bodies

Do you see the likeness? They just MUST be related.
"He's still dead but he's getting warmer."

Hey everybody, welcome to another exciting post from The Tagline! Having vented considerable spleen on Tuesday, I felt ready to again not be mad about everything I saw or heard. So I went out to the movies and saw Warm Bodies, as if to dare the movie to not make me angry. As a preface, I should talk about my feelings in relation to a lot of horror/monster related media. I think that, the best way to use monsters, like zombies, in a movie, is to figure out what about them scares us, and to really emphasize that. To me, sure it would be scary to get eaten alive by a zombie, but it would be scary to be eaten alive by a wolf too. In a movie, a guy getting eaten isn't really scary, it's just kind of gross to watch. Zombies become really scary when you play up the sense of being trapped either in the whole zombie filled world, or in a particular place, I'm getting off subject though. What I'm pretty sick of is everything being about moody dreamy vampires, conflicted broody werewolves, and zombies just trying to make it in the big city. That shit is so played out, that it almost exclusively fills me with rage and nausea. So I walked into the theater feeling really dubious about Warm Bodies, which is exactly about that last one I said. A zombie who eats brains, and then starts to feel feelings. Yet I did not hate it. I wonder why?


Scott Pilgrim vs. The World

"Get the hot girl. Defeat her evil exes. Hit love where it hurts."

Hey everyone, welcome to another week at The Tagline! I realized that I have been terribly remiss, in that I have not yet spoken at ALL about Scott Pilgrim VS THE WORLD. I aim now to remedy that gross oversight. For those who have hidden from the internet, comic shops, or the world at large, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World was a movie based upon the Scott Pilgrim series of graphic novels, the second of which shares a name with the movie. This movie is about the eponymous Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera awkward douche extraordinaire, best used in Arrested Development) who is a Canadian twenty-something loser, who is in a band that has a really stupid name and no one cares about (they're called Sex Bob-omb, which is maybe the worst name for a band ever, and a hint of the COOL RETRO GAME ADVENTURES TO COME). Scott does a lot of other great things with his life, like date a high-schooler and have no job, and live in a one-room apartment with his gay friend. This guy is, in other words, TOTALLY AWESOME OH MAN HOW COOL IS HE. It's okay that he's dating a high-schooler by the way (Scott is 22 and she is 17, I'm kidding it's not okay) because SHE IS ASIAN AND HAS A REALLY STUPID FUCKING NAME (her name is Knives Chau, not sure which Asian nation that's a traditional name in, like Trigun world I guess? She is apparently Chinese I looked it up). This is all good, but Knives is outs city once Scott meets Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead, she will appear again whenever I review the remake of The Thing) who is so cool because she dyes her hair lots of wacky colors, and has GOGGLES, also she rollerskates places and delivers stuff for Amazon, which apparently employs its own couriers in Canada (it does not). She is apparently referred to in the comic as a "ninja delivery girl" god help us all.


Casa De Mi Padre

A joke? Maybe, I'm not sure.
Hi Everyone! I'm gearing up for a convention, and persistent snow obstacles have kept me from striking distance of a movie theater, so here's a weird one for you. Travelling into benighted, dangerous territory, I got really bored several months ago, and with the whole of Netflix's library at my fingertips, I made some legitimately poor watching decisions, even by my generous standards. One of them was this very bizarre Will Ferrell movie, Casa de mi Padre. For starters, this movie is almost entirely in Spanish, with the exception of a few interactions with American border patrol (with special guest appearance by Ron Swanson, not really but you know Nick Offerman). So that's pretty unusual, because I frankly didn't realize Will Ferrell spoke that much Spanish. Everyone else in this movie is pretty much Spanish except for Will Ferrell, who plays Armando Alvarez, a ranch-hand who has lived and worked on his father's ranch all his life. The ranch is falling on hard times, but when Armando's brother Raul returns with his fiance and money from his business ventures to settle all the ranch's debts, things seem to be taking a turn for the better. Only naturally, Armando falls for Sonia (the fiance, entiendan?) and also his brother is obviously a drug dealer, who angers Mexico's biggest narcotraficante, and what follows is a plot-line worthy of daytime Telemundo.


Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol

Mission Impossible: Hooded Guy.
"No Plan. No Backup. No Choice."

Hey everyone welcome back to The Tagline! While i was snowed in (really I still am) I decided to watch Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol (hereafter MI: 4) because I'd heard pretty positive things about it. I was surprised by that because the last Mission Impossible movie was not all that good. I mean, it was pretty decent actually, but I just don't find Philip Seymour Hoffman to be a very intimidating villain. Kind of a lippy douchebag maybe, but villain mastermind genius? ehhh that's kind of a stretch. MI: 4 once again stars Tom Cruise as IMF agent Ethan Hunt, this time accompanied by agents Carter (Paula Patton) and Dunn (Simon Pegg, as a newly promoted agent, is comic relief obviously) and also former field operative William Brandt (Jeremy Renner, who I'm beginning to think is a spy/assassin in real life) as they attempt to stop what I here am going to refer to as a nuclear terrorist, because that is the silliest way I could possibly put it. With the threat of nuclear war looming between the U.S. and Russia, thanks to said nuclear terrorist, the president initiates Ghost Protocol, disavowing all IMF agents and pinning the blame for the Kremlin being blown up on Hunt and his team. Instead, Ethan escapes with his team and agent Brandt, and attempt to thwart the plans of nuclear terrorist Hendricks (played by Michael Nyqvist, who played Mikael Blomkvist in the Swedish version of the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and its sequels). Lacking their normal resources, and drawing upon a backup source of equipment that is frankly always blowing out at the worst possible moment, Hunt and his team are racing against the clock to stop nuclear war.


John Carter

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen 2!
"Lost in Our World. Found in Another."

Hello my Jeddak! It's Thursday, and I didn't get to the movies yet, so instead, I will today be talking about John Carter, a film that was released last year in March, but that I only managed to see around two or three weeks ago. John Carter is based on the Barsoom novels written by Edgar Rice Burroughs, most specifically the first one, A Princess of Mars. The film centers around the eponymous John Carter (portrayed by Taylor Kitsch who is essentially an older version of his character from League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, see caption below), who has recently died. His nephew reads through his journal, in an attempt to determine how he died, and this flashes us back to the beginning of the story, when Carter, prospecting in the Arizona territories, when he is arrested by a Union colonel who wants his help fighting the Apaches. Carter escapes, and in the chase finds his way to a cave he'd been searching for, because he thought there was gold there. Instead there was an alien, who he shoots and then steals his medallion, accidentally transporting him to Barsoom, which is apparently Mars. Here, because of the lower gravity and his bone density, John Carter can jump super high, and perform incredible feats of strength. In short, on Barsoom John Carter is a grade-A ass kicker. He becomes embroiled in a war between the intensely war-like Zodanga, and the less war-like, but still war-like city-state of Helium. The Jeddak (which is what they call emperors on Barsoom) of Zodanga, with the aid of the shadowy Therns, attempts to manipulate the princess of Helium Dejah (Lynn Collins, who you might remember from that really shitty Wolverine movie) into marrying him, so that he can gain control of Helium and Zodanga. Carter is aided by the Jeddak of the green Martians, Tars Tarkas (voiced by Willem Dafoe, who is actually less scary when he is a giant green alien), and together they try and save Helium, Barsoom, and also Dejah, so John Carter can hit that ka-pow!


Red Dawn

Does the blond girl in back look really weird in this picture?
Like a cave person or something? What happened there?
"Welcome to the home of the brave."

Welcome back to The Tagline actually! There are a lot of threats to our nation, and to our personal safety. One of the greatest ones, is a renewed red army, invading our homes and defeating our military by means of a mysterious super weapon. Why are they invading? Because they're communists man, and they hate freedom and beer and Nascars. The things that are really important get it? But have no fear because a group of teenagers with machine guns will turn the tide. Led by US Marine on leave Jed Eckert (Chris Hemsworth, so come on they have Thor, they're all set) and including such illustrious members as his brother Matt (Josh Peck, yes I shit you not, it is Josh as in the Nickelodeon show Drake and Josh, that kid) Also their buddy Robert (Josh Hutcherson, you know, Peeta from the Hunger Games, so in real good shape, he's experienced in survival) Also some girls (Adrienne Palicki, you'll see her in the upcoming GI Joe sequel, and Isabel Lucas, who I think was in a Transformers movie?) and also the son of the collaborator Danny (Edwin Hodge) who I will definitely not notice are the only two African-Americans in the entire movie. Nope I won't notice THAT at all, Racist Dawn.


Garbage Truck Hat Trick: M Night Shyamalan

Why can't they just SEE how great I am?
Hi everyone! I thought I'd do something a little different today, and talk about a specific block of movies, rather than cherry-picking the worst. Now I admit, the director in question pretty much did my job for me in that regard, by going 0-3 in a row with the last 3 movies he directed (arguably the last four movies he directed, but I'm giving some leniency here). I'm talking of course of the illustrious M. Night Shyamalan, a living example of the consequences of tremendous hubris, as if he were trying to make ancient Greek myths come alive before our very eyes. After his career making film The Sixth Sense (spawning bad spoofs and "I see ___ people" jokes for the rest of eternity) Shyamalan had a run of two more movies that I thought were good, those being Unbreakable (which I think is largely forgotten by most people, but not me because come on Bruce Willis) and Signs (definitely NOT forgotten by anyone). Those were pretty damned good movies, and things were looking bright for the future of a new director. Alas, like the child actors of the 80s and 90s, perhaps M. Night got a little bit too big for his britches, and that began to manifest in his demands for 'artistic leeway' in the production of his later movies, and his absolute rejection of any criticism of himself or his movies, ever ever ever. Before that point, he made The Village which... okay. So I didn't like The Village. I thought the whole premise, and again its "twist" ending, were not very interesting, but I'll allow that it wasn't a simply horrendous movie. It was terribly marketed, as a scary movie that was really just a sort of unusual drama movie with some occasional jump out at you moments. So I can at the very least, forgive The Village. What followed... not so much.

Now we get into it for real:

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