Only Lovers Left Alive

Sexy... kinda.

Films first screened at the Cannes Film Festival need no taglines, that's for those tacky plebes making movies all about boobs and explosions! I guess! Anyway, today I'm going to be talking about Only Lovers Left Alive, a film about how depressed and gothy Tom Hiddleston is. Okay so it isn't really ABOUT that, but it does kind of come into play at points. I'm talking of course about Only Lovers Left Alive, a 2013 film that is just now seeing circulation here. This film is a moody, languid, romance story about two very old vampires, Adam (Tom Hiddleston, aka every 13 year old girl's boyfriend Loki) and without a hint of irony his wife Eve (Tilda Swinton, who I just can never get over how weird she is seriously she weirds me out big time). The two live separetely, with Eve in Tangier and Adam living on the outskirts of Detroit as a reclusive musician, with little contact to the outside world. This works for him just fine, as Adam sports a growing disgust for the human world at large, thanks mostly to what he refers to at one point as their "fear of their own imaginations." Over the centuries Adam has been influential in the lives of many scientists and engineers, and is especially bitter about the way the great minds of past generations were marginalized and destroyed. Adam's house is powered by a device he created from parts of various Tesla inventions, and so he is an island in the way that I've heard no man is. Of course even island guys need to head inland sometimes, and so Adam deals with rock scene kid Ian (Anton Yelchin), paying him to run various errands and to find him rare and vintage musical instruments, among other things (like a wooden bullet he considers using to kill himself).


3 Days to Kill

Wyatt Earp pose.
"From the Planet that Brought You Waterworld" (I made this tagline up because there were none)

Hey folks welcome to a new week and more thrills from the Tagline! As I had subtly threatened last week, I'm going to start off this week right, with some Kevin Costner action. As many of you know, I have on at least one occasion been an apologist for a Kevin Costner movie  (and I stand by my position, people need to get a fucking grip) but that doesn't mean that I think every movie he's in is cinematic gold. That said, I do regard him as a trustworthy, father-figure who makes the most of sometimes very bad situations, and that is I suspect what happened with 3 Days to Kill, one of the more perplexing movies I watched this month. This film stars Mr. Costner as Ethan Renner, a CIA Cleaner (that's code for person killer) who is assigned as part of the team cornering and eliminating "The Wolf." Renner's part of this job is to kill a creepy dude with no hair or eyebrows called the Albino, so you know he's a bad guy. We get to watch him crush a lady's head under an elevator car too, so that cements his bad guy status pretty firmly, I mean look how weird and evil he is! Anyway, Renner's kicking this dude's ass into next Tuesday when he suddenly collapses. He wakes up and is told he has like hyper-cancer or something, and that he has only a few months left to live. The CIA gives him a cheap looking watch and tells him his pension is on the way, and then tell him to piss off. Deciding that he needs to make the most of the time, Ethan returns home to Paris, to try and make amends with his estranged wife and daughter. Just as he is awkwardly trying to do that, he is approached by Vivi (Amber Heard, stringing together cinematic disasters one-after-another but hey at least she's pretty right?) a super-sexy assassin that wants Ethan to help her take out The Wolf, because he is the only person who has ever seen him. To try and entice him into this job, Vivi offers a Mcguffin: a experimental magic drug that will help him live longer. naturally, with such an enticing and totally ridiculous reward on offer, Ethan is obliged to accept, if only to get more time to spend with his pathological liar daughter (Hailee Steinfeld, who you can see also in True Grit and Ender's Game). Who would want to miss out on that.


Death to Smoochy

A heartfelt comedy about murder and cocks.
"Get ready for an unexpected hit."

Hello friends, welcome back to the Tagline, where movies are king and I am dubious about some of these taglines. I almost picked a different tagline for this movie, because there were some posters apparently circulating with "He's Big, He's Blue, He's Smoochy... and He's got to DIE!" which is funny because Smoochy is, in fact, pink/an argument could be made for light purple. What he is not is blue. That being said, the desire for his death definitely seemed to exist in this 2002 film about the corrupt dealings behind the children's entertainment business. Death to Smoochy stars Edward Norton (remember Red Dragon?) as Sheldon Mopes, a children's entertainer (and also smackhead entertainer) who hits the big time when he is hired to replace Rainbow Randolph (Robin Williams) who is fired after being caught by the FBI making deals with children's parents to get them on the show. The network decides to hire Sheldon, or more specifically Smoochy the Rhino, because he has a reputation for possessing unimpeachable integrity. This incidentally is not all rumor or speculation, the guy is a real boy scout. It can be difficult to keep up that squeaky clean shine though when you're in showbiz, especially with the guy you replaced plotting your downfall and the mob trying to muscle in on your game so that they can skim a tidy profit off of your success. Sheldon certainly finds this to be the case, and struggles to maintain both his personal integrity, and the quality of edutainment in his program, while the executives and criminal elements all close in on him.


22 Jump Street

I want a gold plated gun too.
"These undercover cops are going to party like it's their job."

Hi everyone and welcome to a shiny new week at The Tagline! Over the weekend I flipped a coin and decided to see 22 Jump Street, the sequel to the most unexpectedly enjoyable movie I saw in 2012. Before I talk about the movie that I actually saw though, I really feel like I need to talk about the previews before the movie, which reminded me of something maybe I'd forgotten: most comedy movies are really terrible, even in their conception. The idea with trailers seems pretty straightforward to me. Before a movie you show trailers for movies that are similar, and that gets people to keep seeing new movies that are likely to be appealing to them. Only sometimes you go to see a movie that belongs to a genre you aren't generally wild about, and then you end up seeing previews for a bunch of movies that look incredibly terrible. I saw a preview for that awful looking Dumb & Dumber sequel, I saw some movie with Melissa Mccarthy being "funny fat lady" robbing like a fast food place or something equally offensive. There was a movie where Seth Rogan and James Franco bromance their way into North Korea? It was a rough ten minutes for me, and I was beginning to wish that I had been a little late and showed up to the movie just as the previews were concluded.


Edge of Tomorrow

Look at that sword. Just...look.
"Live, Die, Repeat."

Welcome back, it is that time again, when you sit down and let your eyes glaze over as I babble incessantly about whatever the latest movie on my mind is, until even I lose interest and then end the post! Today on the Tagline, I'm going to be talking about Edge of Tomorrow, a sci-fi action film starring Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt, in which a united government faces the threat of complete destruction at the hands of an invading race of aliens known as Mimics. These creatures advanced relentlessly throughout Europe after a meteor conveyed them to the surface, and seemed unstoppable, until a single soldier, Rita Vrataski (Blunt), more or less single-handedly stopped their advance in Verdun, Germany. This soldier is heralded as a hero by the rest of the UDF, and emboldened by their victory the UDF plans a D-Day style invasion of France as part of a multifront offensive with the aim of eradicating the Mimics completely. William Cage (Cruise) is a political officer for the U.S. military, is summoned to London, and is surprised when the General overseeing the invasion orders him to be present at the beachhead as a propaganda plant. He understandably takes issue with this, and winds up being arrested, stripped of his rank, and then dumped on the front lines anyway. Predictably, he doesn't last very long, but as he is dying he is drenched in the blood of a weird looking Mimic, and then something really strange happens. Well first he dies because he'd been blown up, that's actually not so strange, but then he wakes up! He wakes up and sees that it is the previous day again, and realizes just like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day, that he now gets sent back to the previous day every time he is killed. He discovers after contacting Rita (who had previously had this power) that this is how the Mimics win: they can reset the day over and over until they can create a favorable outcome.


Vampire Academy

"They Suck at School."

Hey everyone, welcome back to the Tagline! I've gone months and months, starved for shitty YA movie adaptations, and finally found something to really sink my teeth into. I mean, don't get me wrong, The Mortal Instruments wasn't very good, and Divergent was REALLY not good, but I was looking for a real piece of shit, and it also really needed to be about vampires. Thankfully, the movie industry and YA writers didn't leave me disappointed and empty handed, they gave me Vampire Academy. Released in February of this year, Vampire Academy is just the worst kind of movie I could possibly think of, combining an embarrassment of riches in terms of young adult AND vampire cliches, seemingly in an effort to make me laugh in delighted malice so hard that my head falls off. I saw this described as being Mean Girls meets Twilight, and that's sort of true, but it leaves out all the other things that this movie is ripping off, and that just ISN'T ACCEPTABLE. Vampire Academy is based on the first book in a series of YA novels (of course) about a girl named Rose who is a Dhampir (that's a half vampire) and her BFF Lissa, who is a Moroi (if you're playing the home game a Moroi is the Romanian word for a kind of vampire that isn't immortal, though sometimes they're ghosts go figure). Moroi in this world are apparently all Harry Potter style wizards who can use elemental magic, and they drink blood but otherwise are swell folks or so we are told. They mention that people who are on the receiving end of the vampire biting get something out of it, but we're never told what, so I have to assume it's some sort of sex thing. Anyway the Moroi are protected by the Dhampir, because for some reason even though they can set people on fire with their minds they can't defend themselves. Who are they being defended from? Why the Strigoi of course, who are the scary Nosferatu kind of vampire, all living forever and being crazy and wanting to kill everyone. You know REAL VAMPIRES.


Drive Angry

All the boys love Mandy Lane IN HELL.
"One hell of a ride."

Howdy y'all welcome back to Thursday's thrilling edition of The Tagline. There's a lull in my movie-going schedule, so I needed some garbage to fill it with. Then, While I was flipping through channels I came across the truly lamentable Drive Angry. Those of you who've been following my posts for a while will probably remember me talking briefly about this movie when I reviewed Nick Cage's 5 Worst Films. I was initially content to leave it at that, but then I saw it again and I just felt like "wow this is really spectacular garbage, I should give my readers the benefit of experiencing this." To that end, today I will regale you once again with the tale of a man who escaped from hell, with the sole purpose of killing some guy who was going to use his granddaughter in a satanic ritual. Also in what I'm sure the writer thought was really clever, this guy's name is John Milton. That's not clever scriptwriter, it is shameful. You should feel ashamed, but I know you don't, obviously anyone with a sense of shame could not have made this movie. Anyway Nick stars as John Milton, a man who has returned from hell with the stolen gun of the devil (called Godkiller, it destroys the target's soul apparently) so that he can take bloody vengeance for the murder of his daughter, and also so he can rescue his baby granddaughter as mentioned above. In the process of tracking down the complete nutball coocoo who's planning to do this ritual (his name is Jonah King, and he's portrayed by the world's best mustache dad Billy Burke) Milton runs into Piper (Amber Heard) who works at a diner as a waitress and has a boyfriend who is a scumbag. Fortunately Milton is an undead scumbag, so he fits right in, and sabotages Piper's car so he can then proceed to FIX it, and get a ride. I think maybe stealing a car would have been more expedient if you already are from hell, but that's just me nitpicking I guess.



Based on a really bad poster.
"There's more than one way to lose your life to a killer."

Hi all, welcome back to The Tagline. Exciting news, over the weekend The Tagline broke 100,000 lifetime hits! Thank you to everyone who helped make that happen by tuning in and listening to me babble about movies. Your continued readership is genuinely appreciated, and I hope we'll enjoy a lot more movies together! Today I decided to celebrate this momentous occasion by talking about a serial killer they never caught, and the men who drove themselves insane in their attempts to pursue him. That's why today's movie is Zodiac, a 2007 release that is based more or less faithfully on the real life events surrounding the victims of the so called Zodiac killer, and the investigation that attempted to identify and apprehend him. In particular this movie is adapted from the books written on the subject by Robert Graysmith, who was working at the San Francisco Chronicle when the first Zodiac letters arrived. Before I go straight into the movie, here's a little mini-history lesson about the Zodiac murders. The Zodiac killer was a serial killer who operated in northern California, primarily between 1968 and 1969, though several other suspected victims would have been attacked as late as 1971. Zodiac sent a number of letters and also cryptograms to various bay area news outlets, (of the four cryptograms sent only one was ever definitively solved). While a large number of suspects were interviewed and investigated, no person was ever convicted of the Zodiac killings, and the case remains open in a number of California jurisdictions, including San Francisco, Napa County and the city of Vallejo. Robert Graysmith, in his book Zodiac, advanced the theory that Arthur Leigh Allen was the Zodiac, based on an array of circumstantial evidence that could have implicated him in the attacks. Now that we have a little background, let's talk about the movie itself.

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