The Purge: Anarchy

Of course these guys aren't that important.
"An American tradition"

What a tradition it is! Welcome to the Thursday evening installment of the Tagline, where I unveil the second feature presentation of the week. Today it's going to be The Purge: Anarchy, a sequel to 2013's The Purge, a mostly home invasion movie about a family trying to survive the night during a government sanctioned 12 hour period of murder and mayhem, where nearly anything goes (except killin' the government elite OBVIOUSLY). That film, while presenting an interesting original concept, was still a fairly paint by the numbers home invasion movie (unlike say You're Next). In contrast, the sequel is a much more ambitious and adventurous entry, giving a wider, roaming view of the devastation and insanity that is part and parcel of The Purge. The film principally deals with Sergeant Leo Barnes, a police officer heading out into the purge festivities armed to the teeth, with a singular mission that is clearly revenge, though we don't learn exactly what kind until later in the movie. As he cruises down the streets in his armored pimpmobile he comes across a scene where Eva and her daughter Cali are being dragged off by high-tech armed paramilitary agents. Despite his need to accomplish his own grisly end, Leo stops and in a spectacular show of precise violence kills the men attempting to abduct the two women. He then returns to his car to find he's picked up two more lost and scared individuals, Shane and Liz, who for some COMPLETELY UNFATHOMABLE REASON decided that they needed to do some fucking grocery shopping or something like an hour before this bloodbath started. Leo attempts to lead these four to safety, so that he can then resume his mission (he is promised a car by Eva in return for his help, because his gets shot up). Along the way he takes them on a merry tour of the darkest corners of the human psyche.


Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters

This would be hotter with Jeremy Renner
in front.
"Revenge is sweeter than candy."

Hey everyone, welcome back to The Tagline, with a fresh week filled with movies about shooting things for reasons. Today, as long promised I will be delving into less than stellar cinema once again, this time with the obviously dubious looking Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters. This was the sort of movie that I was honestly surprised was getting a wide movie theater release, but then again I suppose it has actors in it who need to be paid in real money so I shouldn't be too shocked. Even then you're almost surprised they'd even attach themselves to a movie about Hansel & Gretel that looks like Van Helsing. That in itself is pretty damning, as Van Helsing was a total train wreck of a movie, even when compared to other pulpy cinema. So with all of that weighing on my mind I didn't enter into this movie with very high expectations. Let me set up the premise for you, parts should be familiar. Hansel & Gretel are left in the woods by their dad. They find a gingerbread house, a witch who lives their plans to eat them, but they get the drop on her and burn her in her own stupid oven. Following this event, Hansel is left Diabetic and has to take regular injections or else he'll die (Naturally. They didn't have insulin shots in the 1800s but I guess I have no real idea or really where this movie is taking place so probably don't let that trip me up). Together he and his sister become renowned witch hunters, killing tons of witches in no small part because they seem to be immune to the dark magic they employ. At the movie's outset the two arrive in who-the-hell caresville where the sheriff is a real dildo, and the mayor is less of one. The mayor hires Hansel and Gretel to try and find out why children are disappearing (hint it's witches). Before they do that though they have to take a moment to stop sheriff jackhole from executing some hot chick that they think is a witch. Hansel explains that witches can only pretend to be hot, and are actually gross, whereas this girl is actually hot. This is all really advanced high-class stuff so try and keep up guys.



Captain America: The SUPER Winter Soldier
"Fight your way to the front."
Hello friends, I've delayed the inevitable crapocalypse to bring you more good movies today, although in doing so I have ushered in the actual apocalypse, because today's movie is all about the world after we fuck up the environment in a new, unexpected way. Normally it is in an effort to annihilate one another that humanity ushers in an ice age and then is nearly wiped out entirely, but in Snowpiercer, today's feature presentation, it is in an effort to repair the environmental damage mankind has already caused that they usher in the end of life as we know it. The basic premise is that in 2014 scientists engineer some chemical or particle that will allow them to cool off the Earth, and thus counteract the ecological devastation mankind has wrought. Well they're right, and the particle lowers temperatures. As you might guess from the title, the particle lowers those temperatures waaay wayyy down, and soon everything is trapped in a frosty ice age, and everyone is dead. Almost everyone that is. A small population is sustained on the Snowpiercer, a 100ish car long train that is run by a perpetual motion engine, and that travels in an unending circuit around the frozen world. Some people are lucky and live up front, where its a nonstop masque of the red death style party/orgy while others in the tail live in the most abject and miserable kind of squallor imaginable. The whole operation is overseen by Wilford, the enigmatic and reclusive overseer, who watches the engine and ensures its continued function. This system, as you can no doubt imagine, isn't super great for the people at the back of the train, who live in cramped conditions and survive off of disgusting protein bricks, that I won't tell you what they are because THAT'S HALF THE FUN MAN COME ON.


Man of Tai Chi

Get it because Yin and Yang.
"No rules. No mercy. Pure fighting."

Hello friends, it's magic hour again, time for more brilliance from The Tagline! While I was working on some stuff over the weekend I decided to take a peek into Netflix once again, and spin the big roulette wheel of garbage, just to see where it would land. While I was browsing I couldn't help but notice that there was a movie with Keanu Reeves on the cover, and then I saw that the movie was called Man of Tai Chi, which was somehow even more preposterous seeming to me than his roll in 47 Ronin. With the intention of ridiculing both Keanu and the movie he was in, I started Man of Tai Chi, and as is almost universally the case after I utter the words "there's no way this could be any good" I found myself watching a movie that was drastically different than I had presumed, and it was actually pretty decent. At least partly to blame was that I saw a movie with Keanu Reeves attached, and naturally assumed he would be the protagonist. I was wrong about that. Keanu, in addition to being the director (and I will talk more about that) is the primary antagonist  of the film, whereas the protagonist is Chinese stuntman Tiger Chen (who did stunt work for the Matrix movies, hence his acquaintance with Reeves) who plays a character of the same name. Tiger is shown to us as an honest and hardworking individual, and also the sole pupil of Master Yang, a master of Ling Kong Tai Chi. Tiger wants to prove the martial use of Tai Chi, and so is participating in a local Wulin tournament. Sounds like he's living a pretty normal kung-fu life right? WELL WAIT A SECOND.


Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Horseape Gun: The Movie.
"One last chance for peace."

I mean, they say that but really was there EVER a chance for peace, for anyone? I sincerely doubt it, if people were looking for peace they'd probably have fewer tanks. Anyway welcome back to The Tagline! As promised, today is honorary emotional about primates day, and I will be talking about Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, the sequel to the 2011 film Rise of the Planet of the Apes, which you can read more about here. If you recall (or just read that link) Rise of the Planet of the Apes covers how the apes become super smart, and makes you really depressed in the process. This movie details the growth of the fledgling ape civilization, even as human society is crumbling in the wake of a devastating virus (the same one that made the apes so damned smart). Before I actually talk in earnest about the movie, I first need to quibble about the notion that a very small population of super-intelligent apes would proliferate and survive in the wild, as a species. incidental illness alone would make them genetically unviable as a population, and machine guns killing them by the hundreds would definitely make their dominance super unlikely. YES in a movie about super smart apes my problem is that I find the number of apes and their opposition to make dominance an unlikely outcome. Otherwise I am totally on board with these apes learning to talk and building a community based on mutual trust. Well, for the most part that's true.


Aeon Flux

I know I personally keep my gun in that
spot on your back you can never scratch.
"The Perfect World Meets The Perfect Assassin."

Hello everyone, after a brief hiatus welcome back to THE TAGLINE. I'm sure you were all terribly distraught in my absence, but rest assured, I'm back to give you the thrilling movie commentary that you have craved over the long hours of this past week, and to provide the cutting insight that makes your day bearable, because I'm sure my contribution to your afternoon is THAT ESSENTIAL. Unfortunately for you its all garbage in here today, as I threatened last week I'm going to be talking about Aeon Flux, a movie so spectacularly bad in such a specific and peculiar way that it almost defies belief. The movie doesn't really have to do with the original animation at all, or anything that makes sense, but because it bears a passing similarity I will talk about it briefly anyway. Aeon Flux was initially a six part short animation aired on MTV. Later it was given five more short episodes, and eventually in 1995 a full season of 10 half-hour episodes was aired. The show was the product of Peter Chung, whose bizarre art style is immediately recognizable (if you have ever seen Reign: The Conqueror that was also him). Chung, having previously worked on, if you will believe this, Rugrats, was frustrated with that shows character limitations, and so Aeon Flux was his outlet presumably for those impulses. As a result, Aeon Flux focuses on a character of the same name, who is basically a fetish dominatrix scarecrow skeleton, who is also a secret agent in a bizarre future dystopia. There's this whole thing with two cities and her sexy antagonistic relationship with Trevor Goodchild but I won't go into that because LITERALLY NONE OF THAT IS IN THIS MOVIE. It is important also to mention that there's a hyper amount of violence in the original animation, and a healthy dose of fetishy sex stuff. Now that I've established what the original animation was about, let me attempt to elucidate what happened in the movie, and I say attempt because even after seeing it a total of three times I'm still not entirely sure.


How to Train Your Dragon 2

Why do I still have no dragon.

Hi all, welcome to a brand new, uncomfortably humid, blisteringly hot week at the Tagline, which is located in a claustrophobic basement that has no air flow or windows or any real environment control other than this stupid box fan I keep knocking over with my damned computer chair. I'm not here to talk about the lacking circumstances surrounding my living conditions though, nor my displeasure with the fire orb that's constantly exploding in the sky. No today I'm going to be talking about explosions that happen in a considerably closer region to our persons. I'll be talking about How to Train Your Dragon 2, the sequel to another movie with that name, minus the 2 (obviously) about a young boy outcast who decides that people could coexist with dragons instead of murdering them with ballistas and such. This lad, Hiccup (Jay Baruchel, the Sorcerer's Apprentice) befriends a fearsome Nightfury, that he names Toothless. This creature is essentially what an adorable pet cat would be if it were also a dragon, and so is the cutest creature in existence. At the opening of this second movie (about five years after the first movie, in-universe) Hiccup's home of Berk has greatly changed, as now everyone there has their own dragon pretty much (or almost everyone at least maybe there are some sad dragonless losers off-screen). While Hiccup's dad Stoick (who is Gerard Butler somehow and that is really confusing) is all about him finally owning up and taking his place as chief-in-waiting, Hiccup is less than enthusiastic and spends his days flying around mapping the surrounding lands, and generally shirking his duties. This is sort of a nice sequel setup I thought, because it shows viewers (young and old) something that a lot of movies choose to gloss over. In the first movie Hiccup learns that he's good at befriending dragons, and he is no longer utterly ostracized by his home. That detail not-withstanding, finding a way to not be an outcast doesn't mean you've found your place in the world forever. Not being a disgrace doesn't mean that you feel like you've found your place in the world, and I found that refreshing.

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