Les Miserables

Can you hear the people sing?
"Fight. Dream. Hope. Love."

Hello all, welcome to a very sleepy edition of The Tagline. Tonight I'm going to talk about the recent adaptation of Les Miserables, which modeled itself after the musical rather than the novel (unlike the 1998 adaptation which was less musical) Starring Anne Hathaway as Fantine, Hugh Jackman as Jean Valjean, and (weirded out) Russel Crowe as Inspector Javert. For the uninitiated Les Mis focuses primarily on the trials of ex-convict Jean Valjean, as he attempts to redeem himself, having been driven low by circumstance. This tale takes place against the backdrop of 19th century France, and is as much a story about human circumstance at large and the trials of that nation as it is about the specific characters involved in the plot. As a quick rundown (hyper-simplified version of the plot) Fantine is a lady who works in a mill, to pay the scummy innkeepers extorting her in exchange for taking care of (see abusing) her daughter, who was born out of wedlock. Fantine loses her job at a factory when the foreman finds out about her daughter, so she has to resort to prostitution. Eventually she is picked up by Javert for assaulting some guy who was being an ass, but Jean Valjean (who is by then the wealthy mayor of the town thanks to changing his name and the help of a priest who essentially let Valjean rob him) intervenes and saves her, taking her to a hospital because she is dying from hooker diseases or something. Valjean agrees to bring her daughter to him, but before that he is forced to reveal his true identity, blah dee bloo but he escapes from jail anyway, and then takes care of Cosette, Fantine's daughter and.... okay the point is a whole ton of shit happens, if you want to hear the rest of this tale, watch the movie, read the book, watch the other movie with Liam Neeson, see a production of it... it is available to you.



Beat-up Dumpster Bondage Man
"Shut Up. Kick-Ass."

Hello my friends, welcome back to The Tagline! I had realized a while back that I never really talked about Kick-Ass, and it seemed like now would be a decent time to do so, considering the recent trailer that was released for Kick-Ass 2 (and I'll probably talk about that a bit at the end). So for the uninitiated, Kick-Ass is a movie based on a comic series of the same name, starring Aaron Taylor-Johnson as David Lizewski, a dorky loser who is totally normal, gets mugged all the time, and reads comic books. One day, Dave decides that he wants to be a real life superhero, so he gets a special costume, goes out and challenges some common petty criminals, and then is immediately stabbed and hit by a car. Dave comes out of the hospital with an increased ability to get the shit beat out of him, which is good, because there's a lot of that in his near future. His costumed antics get him caught up in some heavy shit, involving costumed crime-fighting, thug-killing duo Hit-Girl (portrayed by Chloe Grace-Moretz) and Big Daddy (Nicholas Cage, doing his best Adam West Batman) as they attempt to take down crime and druglord Frank D'Amico.



The scariest foot movie ever.
"Something Big Is Happening."

Recently I learned something deeply disturbing, that shook my faith in humanity to its very core. I mean really, why would ANYONE undertake such an odious, monstrous errand? There is currently a new Hollywood Godzilla movie in the works (slated for some time in 2014 apparently). When I found that out, I figured it was only proper that I go about reminding the good people of the present just what that got us last time around (by the way the new one is apparently starring Kick-Ass so prepare yourself for that). So let's take a look into the past, going all the way back to 1998, when the LAST Godzilla movie was made. That movie also made some questionable casting choices, and starred Matthew Broderick (you know, Ferris Bueller? Though best seen in The Producers most definitely) as Niko Tatopoulos, a scientist who is roped into helping the government investigate the wreckage of Japanese fishing boat, which appears to have been torn apart by some very large animal. It isn't long before this creature, which they determine to be an unknown species with SCIENCE, makes its way to New York City for some reason (which I think is odd given that it originated in French Polynesia, did it go all the way around South America? DID IT TAKE THE PANAMA CANAL?!! COME ON GUYS) and begins to terrorize the city. The government, Niko, and some French guys led by the only French person America is aware of Jean Reno (Leon the professional etc.) who are trying to cover up the fact that French nuclear testing was responsible for the mutation of this enormous terror lizard.



This makes the movie look like a very
different movie than it is.
"You can't escape your past."

That is doubly true if your present-becoming-the-past is constantly full of dead police officers. Hi everyone, welcome to Tuesday's Tagline! Today's feature presentation is Deadfall, a relatively recent film (first aired at the Tribeca Film Festival last April) about a brother and sister who are in a car crash after a casino heist, and left stranded on the side of a snowy road near the Canadian border. After shooting a state trooper who finds their crashed car, Addison (Eric Bana who no one knows from the first Hulk movie) tells his sister Liza (Olivia Wilde, Tron, House, etc.) that they need to split up, and that they'll meet back up and make a break for the border. He does this nominally to protect Liza, who no one is aware was involved in the heist, and who hasn't shot someone. So Addison goes one way, and Liza goes the other. Liza, half-frozen in her totally not weather appropriate clothing, is picked up by Jay (Charlie Hunnam, you might recognize him as Jax from Sons of Anarchy) a recently paroled convict and former boxer, who believes that he has just accidentally killed a man in a confrontation (and so thinks it might be back to the slammer for him). While Liza and Jay start to buddy up, Addison meanwhile is racking up what one might consider and impressive list of very serious crimes, including a number of additional murders. It becomes clear that, while she is grateful for everything her brother has done for her, Liza just wants to have a normal, not blood-soaked life. Whether that's in the cards for her or not remains to be seen.


The Moth Diaries

Or as I like to think of it, Lesbian Dracula.

Hey everyone, welcome to Thursday's Tagline! Today I thought we might take a brief detour to snowy northern Canada, so that we could talk about The Moth Diaries, another one of my spectacular late night Netflix adventures. Starring Sarah Bolger (who I remember as Mary in The Tudors as Rebecca, a student at an all-girls prep-school. Now I get a little worried whenever a movie starts with a girl narrating something she is writing in a diary (especially with the possibility of vampires in the offing) but I decided to press on anyway. Rebecca seems right off the bat like kind of a troubled girl. We find out that her dad killed himself a few years before the movie takes place, I guess he was a artsy writer poet or something, anyway, back to Rebecca, she is doing okay now, thanks in part to her besty, Lucy (Sarah Gadon, who I saw in Cosmopolis, some day I'll get around to reviewing it I swear) who she... really likes. Now I'm assuming the "feeling" is mutual, because I had lots of close friends who I didn't talk to while I was taking a bubble bath and they were playing with the bubbles. That's pretty good friends, and later events support my "not just friends" theory.


Oz The Great and Powerful

Or Oz: The Sneaky and Douchey Guy
"The land you know. The story you don't."

Hello everyone! Welcome to Tuesday at The Tagline! Over the weekend I got out to see Oz The Great and Powerful, so that's what's on reel for today. Starring James Franco in as one of the two characters he tends to be cast as (Not a stoner here, he's a scumbag) he is Oscar Diggs, known to everyone who bothers addressing him as Oz. Oz is a small-time magician and con-man at a travelling circus, but one day he is carried away in his hot air balloon by a tornado (while running from a strongman trying to murder him) and finds himself in a mysterious land (Oz) where he meets the witch Theodora (played by Mila Kunis see her also here) who believes that Oz is the wizard who has come to save the land from the wicked witch as prophesied by the last king. along their way back to the Emerald City, Oz saves Finley, a flying monkey in a bellhop's uniform (voiced by Zach Braff you know, JD from Scrubs, people still remember that right?) who swears to serve Oz, before discovering that he is a no good fraud (of course by then it's too late to back out). 


The Matrix

It's time to go back, to the EXTREME PAST
"What is The Matrix?"

The answer to that question has proved somewhat different for me as years have gone by. Hi guys, welcome to Thursday's Tagline, where I will be taking us all on what has become a trip to the distant past. Imagine! The Matrix was released in March of 1999, what was nearly exactly 14 years ago, and... time has not been kind to it. I don't mean to say that the effects look super cheesy (okay, so some of them look kind of cheesy) but everything else about the movie feels... played out. First a quick refresher! The Matrix is a movie about Neo (Keanu Reeves, who I make fun of because it's really cool to do that) a guy who works for a computer company but is secretly a super mega-hacker guy. He is searching for the hacker legend Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne) because he wants to know what the Matrix is. Once he is contacted by Morpheus, via pleather clad Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) Neo is shown what it is: a computer generated dream world designed to control humanity so they can be used as a power source for a race of machines that rules the future. I KNOW INTENSE RIGHT. Morpheus is looking for "the one" who is going to save the remains of mankind who are free, because within the matrix he can change whatever he wants. For some reason, Morpheus believes that Neo is the one. What follows is a bunch of edgy technorap-rock stuff that doesn't on later inspection make a ton of sense, and a lot of hand to hand combat, as Morpheus and his crew fight for the future of mankind.



Look, time is dilating around him, you know it's extreme.

Hello everyone, welcome back to The Tagline! Today I thought I'd do something a little bit different, and talk about an animated film I watched over the weekend. I don't normally talk about Anime on this blog, but I figured it was a movie, and I do talk about American animated films, so why not right? Redline is a movie that's relatively unremarkable in plot, but remarkable in execution. The movie is a science fictiony futuristic racer movie (basically like if they made an M-rated movie about the F-Zero games) where a racer with an enormous and ridiculous pompadour named JP makes the cut for the Redline Race, the most dangerous and prestigious race in the galaxy. The race is supposed to take place on the militant cyborg planet known as Roboworld, despite the violent (literally) opposition of the Roboworld government. This is all the better to spice up the race, as it just wouldn't be as interesting if certain death weren't on offer for a single mistake. Along with JP, a varied selection of weirdos is also competing in the race, including a giant robot Frankenstein man, magical sex-princess idol twins, a crime fighting bounty hunter duo (with their own theme song) and some other freaky aliens. Also JP's love interest, who is the only other not weird looking human in the movie pretty much (because having two tone pink/green hair or a massive blimp-sized pompadour is relatively normal). The racers gear up, prep their vehicles (mostly they are hover cars full of dirty tricks) and set out for what will surely be the most intense race ever.

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