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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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. 


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.


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.


Catching 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.

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