Jonah Hex

Look at all that action stuff.
"Revenge gets ugly."

If this movie's protagonist is any indicator then that is definitely true, it doesn't get much uglier than this. Hello all, welcome back to The Tagline! Today I'm reaching back into the deep dark bag of unlikely comic book adaptations, and fetching out one of the stranger ones: Jonah Hex. Even at a conceptual stage, the existence of this film is sort of surprising, given that Jonah Hex is more or less an unrepentant killer driven by blood lusty vengeance. Then again, I suppose the same could be said of the Punisher, and they made TWO movies about him. Jonah Hex is himself a character from DC Comics, originating in the 70s as a Western-style anti-hero, who despite being really ugly and a complete asshole, has a somewhat strict idea about who deserves and receives his gun violence. So despite his shitty reputation, in the comics Hex is a somewhat okay guy with questionable methods. The film adaptation makes this even more questionable, as he seems almost incapable of entering a building in the movie without blowing it up upon his exit. Granted most of the time when he enters a building, people are trying to kill him, but given his behavior and reputation sometimes it's hard to blame them. The movie also decided for some reason that there had to be freaky supernatural elements to the movie, because just being about former confederate soldiers killing each other is too pedestrian or something. To this end, unlike any other appearance of the character ever in like 40 years of publication history, in the film adaptation Jonah Hex has the ability to momentarily raise the dead and force them into speaking truly, and he uses this ability to aid him as he tracks his targets. While totally unnecessary and also completely made up for the movie, I'll grant it's kind of neat, so I guess I'll let you off this time movie.


The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones

Teen Angst Squad.
"There is a world hidden within our own."

Hello all, and welcome back to The Tagline! Today I will at long last deliver on broken promises, and talk about The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, seeing as it now looks inevitable that we will be seeing more of this series (at least one more movie is already in the pipe). Starring Lily Collins as Clary Fray, normal girl living in the city, City of Bones follows her as she discovers that she is intensely and gruesomely not ordinary. This movie, like any movie that is not about comic book characters or that has a female protagonist, is based on a series of young adult novels, set in a world where unknown to regular people, a race of half-angels (Nephilim if you want to be sassy about it) are charged with fighting against demons and other varieties of nightmare creatures, all while the rest of the world's assholes are oblivious to the fact that Dracula is trying to summon the devil or something, with help from Moriarty. Don't worry though, some rail thin teenage girls and teen heartthrobs are more than ready to eff those demons in the A, by which I mean mostly be moody at each other. This cast of likable jack-holes includes Jace (who you DON'T remember as Caius from the Twilight movies, but see him here in Anonymous as the young Oxford) who is Clary's sexy love interest who might be her brother, which makes some of the stuff that happens in the movie Luke & Leia levels of awkward, Alec who is a douchebag with few if any redeeming qualities we see, and his sister Isabelle, who has this whole leather vixen thing going on that was kind of awkward but I guess it was probably the way she was described in the books, given how frequently it comes up in the movie. Also I'd be remiss if I forgot to mention Clary's boy in waiting who will always be waiting, Simon, who just doesn't stand a chance against the brooding possibly sibling Jace. Like how much does that hurt, she thinks the guy is her brother and you still can't compete. Ouch Simon.


The Lego Movie

"The story of a nobody who saved everybody."

Hello friends and felons, it's Thursday and that means that you're all one day away from a weekend of drunken debauchery maybe, or maybe you don't do that. Also maybe you work in the service industry, and so your toil will end only in death. I can relate. You know who else can relate, and meets their bitter fate with exuberance? The Lego workers in The Lego Movie. After all, I have it on good authority that everything is awesome, and everything is cool when you're part of a team (that song has been stuck in my head since I watched the movie and I realize now that I will have to use a power drill to get it out. A sacrifice I am willing to make to just be free from it). On that chipper note, today I will be talking about The Lego Movie, a film that I would say was unlikely to ever happen, and further than that was even less likely to somehow be good. As you might guess from the title, this film is about Legos, and Lego stuff. It stars Chris Pratt (who is having a pretty big year I guess, between this, his ongoing appearance on Parks & Rec, and his upcoming appearance in the Marvel Guardians of the Galaxy film) as Emmet Brickowoski, an absolutely average Lego construction worker, living in the land of Bricksburg. Emmet is a boring loser, but one day he accidentally stumbles upon the Piece of Resistance, a thing that supposedly will save all the Lego lands from being destroyed by the ruthless Lord Business, who wants everything to be neat and orderly, and so plans to glue everyone in place. Emmet is found by super cool ninja lady/maybe some kind of DJ Wyldstyle (Elizabeth Banks, also not doing bad for herself this year), and together they set off to find the wise wizard Vitruvius (Morgan Freeman) so they can try and stop Lord Business.


The Purge

Why are they all wearing masks to
look like the guy from Aphex Twin?
"Survive the night."

Hey everyone welcome to a new week at The Tagline! Is there... anyone still out there? I guess even the most dedicated can't care about my crappy taste in movies all the time, but alas THAT WILL NOT STOP THE TIDE, nothing can stop the irresistible deluge of garbage that I will churn out into the ether. Today I will be talking about when you take home invasion to the A league. I'm talking about The Purge, a film that takes a look into what is probably the near future of America. The basic premise is that in a near-future America wracked by crime and unemployment and other problems that we have in abundant supply right now, the government decides to implement the purge. What is that? Well a bunch of reprobate social scientists decide that humans are just such violent fucks that they can't exist without a release valve involving committing insane acts of violence. To help alleviate this need, the government institutes a once a year 12-hour window where all crimes are legal and all emergency services are suspended. They of course make provisions for super rich people and the government folks (if you try and kill them it's lights out for you) but otherwise it's basically open season. Some people suspect that this system is just a means of keeping the poor down and killing off the unemployed and homeless, and other unseemly demographics, but fortunately no one cares because people are all fucking animals anyway. If you're sitting there thinking "no way that would never happen!" Well... I'm glad you feel that way. 



"You see what it wants you to see."

I sure did, and that wasn't the most pleasant thing that ever happened to me. Hello folks, it's time for more fun in the New England gloom here at The Tagline, and I thought that to celebrate that I would talk about Oculus, a movie that proved to be a viscerally unpleasant experience for me to watch. Here is a little piece of free advice from me, that you can apply to your own life, and I really think you'll get a lot of mileage out of this. So here we go: Do not under any circumstances purchase a large, ornate, and very old mirror, with a black oak frame carved into a sinister looking design. Do not then hang that mirror on the wall next to your desk in your study. I'm not saying no mirrors at all, but if you come across any great deals on mirrors at like an estate sale or something? Maybe just keep on walking, go to IKEA or something. Frankly I shouldn't have to add this, but this rule applies to any and all old spooky music boxes, or other similar such objects (see The Possession for reasons why you don't give spooky relics to your small children). Anyway, now that I've put that little disclaimer in, let's talk about Oculus. This film was based on another short film made by director Mike Flanagan, and sort of expands on the original premise. We are introduced to siblings Tim and Kaylie Russell, who were orphaned after a series of grisly events leading up to the torture and murder of their mother, and Tim being forced to shoot his father. Tim is committed to a juvenile psychiatric facility while Kaylie, having not pulled the trigger, is free to live her life, though the siblings promise to one day return and destroy the mirror.



Roofstander: The Movie.
"What Makes You Different, Makes You Dangerous."

Fortunately there is no chance of anyone or anything becoming dangerous in this movie, as there is nothing unique or different happening. Hello everyone, welcome back to The Tagline! Today I'm going to talk about the impossibly long-running film Divergent (it is STILL in theaters for some reason) Starring the always bland and uninteresting Shailene Woodley, who is attempting to assert herself on the big screen after her turn on The Secret Life of the American Teenager, which I assume people must have watched because she is still working. Divergent is the latest in the string of adaptations of young adult novels with stubborn strong willed female protagonists who go against the establishment, in order to change their dystopic future society. If I sound so jaded that it even comes through in text, that's because I feel like we can probably explore some other narrative space at this point. I'm sure likable female protagonists can think of something ELSE to do, other than lead a future revolution. Divergent is the first book in a trilogy (all three of which are being filmed) taking place in a world that was almost totally annihilated. In order to organize the post-apocalyptic civilization, individuals are split into one of five factions. Erudites are the smarties, Dauntless are the soldiers, Amity are the happy fieldworkers, Candor are the lawyers, and Abnegation are the selfless public servants and leaders. Also there is a substantial body of factionless refuse that no one seems troubled about, but I guess it's a hard knock life in the future. Beatrice (Woodley) is about to turn 16, and so will soon take the aptitude test and choose what faction she belongs to. Her parents belong to Abnegation, and they are currently in some sort of cold war with Erudite, who as near as I can tell are a bunch of smug douchebags who think they should own the world. Tris ends up getting three different results when she takes her test, meaning that she is divergent. This is not good, and divergent people tend to get disappeared. Beatrice is warned not to tell anyone.


Veronica Mars

"She thought she was out."

I'm sure we've all thought that once or twice, but let's face it, you never really get out do you? That sure seems to be the case for Veronica Mars, and maybe fans of the show as well. How's it going folks welcome back to The Tagline. Today I'm going to be giving my thoughts and impressions of the recent Veronica Mars movie, which has a neat story behind it before I even get to the actual movie part. So let's talk about how a Veronica Mars movie even happened to begin with. If you aren't familiar, Veronica Mars was a show that ran for three seasons, from 2004 to 2007, about a teenage girl who becomes a private investigator in her rich meets poor hometown of Neptune, CA. If this sounds ridiculous... well it kind of is, but she's only sort of an actual PI, see she works for her dad, who actually IS a licensed private investigator, so that gives her the in to the biz (I don't know how much you know about it, but to be a private detective in most states you need to either have worked under another PI or have been a cop for a pretty substantial amount of time). After three seasons of struggling to keep themselves on the air despite flagging ratings, Veronica got the ax from the CW so they could fit in more reality TV (I'm not even making this up). Despite not having a huge viewer base, what Veronica did have was a really hardcore fan segment, and they were raring for more V Mars man. So Kristen Bell and director Rob Thomas (not the singer for Matchbox Twenty a different guy) started a kickstarter. Their goal was to raise more than 2 million dollars. Point in fact they ended up raising something closer to 6 million dollars (5,702,153 according to the page) which I think expresses in clear green numbers with dollar signs just how badly people wanted to see Kristen Bell being tough on crime like Scruff Mcgruff only much hotter (this sentence is like a runaway train I want to get off but I can't). Anyway that weirdness aside the point is thanks to fan support, the movie was made, and I got to see it.


Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Why is he the winter soldier it isn't winter.
"In heroes we trust."

Hello everyone, welcome back to The Tagline! Today at last I have a movie for you that I actually got to see in a real life movie theater. That's right, today we're talking about the latest addition to the Marvel movie canon: Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Featuring prominently in this film we of course have the incomparable Chris Evans as the Cap himself, and also Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury and Cobie Smulders as Maria Hill. Joining the main cast is Anthony Mackie as Falcon, who in this incarnation is a soldier trained to be an expert with a winged jet propulsion system  and two machine pistols, which is undeniably badass. Winter Soldier starts with Captain America struggling to find his place in the present day, as an operative working for the S.T.R.I.K.E. team which is nominally a rapid response arm of S.H.I.E.L.D. It's really rapid with Cap sprinting around beating the ever loving crap out of every bad guy he comes across. One thing that was immediately apparent while I was watching the movie was that the director choreographed some seriously intense, no bullshit hand to hand. A lot of the people being beaten down are just regular folks, maybe they have military backgrounds, but they look pretty pathetic when the Cap is punting them across a ship deck three at a time as he dashes past them to more important things. That being said, there is still a noticeable drop off in power level from The Avengers, and even as compared to Thor 2 or Iron Man 3. You have to understand that while Captain America is superhuman, he has a really good shield, not a garage full of robot suits, or a hammer that shoots lightning. He also can't turn into a giant green rage monster.



I think they could've let go.
"Don't Let Go."

Except for that one part, then you can totally let go. Hello Tagliners, welcome back. Today I'm going to exercise my rights as a card carrying contrarian, by disagreeing with virtually every critic in existence. Correct former friends, today I will be talking about the universally acclaimed and award winning film Gravity. Gravity stars Sandra Bullock as medical engineer Ryan Stone, who is on a space mission and servicing the Hubble Telescope alongside Lt. Matt Kowalski (George Clooney), when a storm of debris from a Russian missile striking an inactive satellite passes their ship, the Explorer, and kills everyone except Kowalski and Stone, and propel them into a life or death situation. The movie is frequently and extensively experienced from the perspective of Stone, who as a novice in space is frequently (and understandably) terrified as she attempts to survive in an extreme situation that undoubtedly would push even the hardiest individual to their limits. The movie is essentially a film about survival, about Stone overcoming existential dread and her personal demons in order to survive and make it back to the Earth. I want it to be known before I get into the rest of my review that I fully understand all of the above. I recognize the movie's intent, and I even recognize that it succeeds at what it sets out to do, and that it accomplishes great things in terms of 3D cinematography. Now that I've gotten that out of the way, let's talk about how I liked the movie. I didn't. I am here to tell you that I did not give a single shit about anything that happened in this movie.
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