Monthly Archives: May 2010

Review and Rant of Kick-Ass (2010)

With no power, comes no responsibility. Except, *that* wasn’t true.

— Dave Lizewski

I saw some Comic-Con footage of the #146 movie of all time, Kick-Ass when it was leaked online before it was taken down. I saw footage of Hit Girl in action, the opening sequence of the film and I believe it was Kick-Ass’s first fight with the thugs. I was pumped to see this movie. I have been eagerly anticipating this movie when it was picked up by Lionsgate. I wanted to see it before it left theaters. I’m glad I did because I had a ball with this movie.

Based on Mark Millar & John S. Romita Jr.’s graphic novel, Kick-Ass is the ultimate examination in fanboy delusion. High schooler Dave Lizewski (Aaron Johnson) could be the typical comic book teenager. He is a total outcast that likes hanging out at Atomic Comics with his friends Marty (Clark Duke) and Todd (Evan Peters). He is vagina repellent to all girls, especially to his crush, Katie (Lyndsy Fonseca).

He ponders the question to his friends, why can’t someone become a superhero when the guys are constantly mugged a couple of thugs. Marty bluntly says that they would fucking die within a day. Dave ignores the warning of his friends and decides to become a superhero even though he has no powers whatsoever. He orders green and yellow wet suit online and decides to be a costume vigilante. He tries to train his body to be “super strong.”

The problem is not that much crime happens until he walks into a mugging outside of restaurant. He is taped by a stranger on their cellphone the remarkably clear footage is posted on YouTube. The local news pick up the story about this costumed hero. They want to know who is Kick-Ass.

Kick-Ass decides to create a MySpace account so random strangers could post messages praising him and asking him for help. Dave is enjoying the instant fame Kick-Ass is generating for him and he has to keep his secret identity. The coverage of this amateur attracts the attention of two other costume vigilantes that are in hiding, Big Daddy (Nicolas Cage) and Hit-Girl (Chloe Moertz). Their paths cross when a local drug dealer, Frank D’Amico (Mark Strong) thinks that Kick-Ass is killing his business. He wants to kill Kick-Ass.

This movie went farther than Watchmen in my opinion. It tried to poke fun at the superhero origin story but still doesn’t go off the deep end. It was bloody, vulgar and fucking awesome. The action sequences especially with Hit-Girl were awesome.

The ultimate message of the movie is that we are desensitized to extreme violence. We don’t know that the world is not a safe place. It also showed us that bringing your fantasies like becoming a superhero into the real world is dangerous and could potentially get your killed if you try to do it. When I was younger, I wanted to be a Power Ranger. I thought it was refreshing that a movie would give this generation a much needed wake up call it deserves. Just because you want that instant fame either from being a runaway hit on YouTube or being profile in your local news, you have to know that there is a dark side to instant fame. It’s not just the notoriety you will get. There will be people that want the same thing as you and would harm you to replace your name in the papers.

I’m not saying that this movie was perfect. Far from it. Not having read the graphic novel, I heard that the ending of the movie changed. I like some of the changes, but not all of them. I thought that the movie was poking fun at Spider-Man, Superman and Batman at the beginning of the movie. Towards the ends, however, the movie becomes a conventional superhero storyline with the hero in trouble, the damsel in distress watching idly by, and the over the top climatic action sequence to close out the film. I think the relationship between Dave and Katie felt forced and uninspired or the last scene with Big Daddy and Hit-Girl went into melodrama. It was a bit of a cop out.

Before I close out this review, I have something to say is that I don’t understand why Hit Girl is the make or break factor of this movie. Have the naysayers ever heard of a pre-pubescent girl cursing like a sailor? Oh, please. Get over yourselves. I cursed a blue streak when I was that age. What about the boy from Role Models? He was so obsessed with tits and talking about sex. Where people saying that it was a horrible movie, because they got this kid to say such filthy phrases? Did anybody say boo when Stand by Me came out? They were cussing and smoothing when their balls haven’t dropped. That was in 1986. What has changed? Just because a little girl is saying these words you would write off a movie.

I would understand if you don’t like this movie, because it subverts the typical superhero tropes of the outcast granted special abilities to fight crime and defeat the bad guy at the end. I understand. You cannot dismiss an entire movie, because you don’t like one character in it. There are a lot of movies where I hated a particular character but I still enjoyed the movie such as the little sister in (500) Days of Summer. I think it is very myopic for any critic to write off a movie because of one character that don’t like. What about the other characters of the film, the story, the pacing, the direction it is going? Does that factor in at all when you are giving your final verdict?

Maybe it’s because you have been watching movies for so long that you have become jaded about the message of the movie. I’m not trying to sound like a fanboy here, but you have to have an objective eye. You are giving your opinion on a movie that other people are going to read and form their opinion about whether to see it or not. If you write a movie off because one character then people are not going trust your opinion anymore. That is my take on this so called controversy.

Judgment: It is a subversive take on the superhero story tat people could enjoy if they open their minds to it.

Rating: ****

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Sex and the City 2 (2010)

Aah! It’s so good to see a new movie and review it for you guys. I missed so many movies that I probably have to catch them on DVD or at the dollar theater. To get my back into the groove of reviewing movies again, I wanted to revisit those four girls from NYC, Sex and the City 2. I don’t know if you know this, but I owned the complete series box set. I watched the first movie when it premiered two years ago, I thought it was a little bloated and it tried to hard to be serious. It wasn’t like the TV show, but this new movie did not disappoint me.

Taking place two years after the first film, Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker), Miranda (Cynthia Nixon), Charlotte (Kirsten Davis) and Samantha (Kim Cattrall) come together again to celebrate the upcoming nuptials of the only people in this universe, Stanford Blatch (Willie Garson) and Anthony Marantino (Mario Cantone).

Hold the phone – SATC geek out moment – those familiar with show knows that Stanford and Anthony hated each other for a long time. They were bitchy and catty towards each other throughout the series. Besides, Stanford was with that gorgeous chorus boy, Marcus for a long time. What the hell happened to him? I want some answers, Michael Patrick King! Okay, I’m done.

Back the gay wedding extravaganza, Stanford was let loose in having a huge soiree with a gay men’s choir singing standards or having Liza Minnelli – did I hear the gay gasp? Yes, Liza freakin’ Minnelli officiating the wedding and singing Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies” afterwards. Yes! Rejoice, people.

Carrie is uncomfortable with the monotony of matrimony with Mr. Big (Chris Noth) who wants to stay home, order takeout and watching black and white movies in their bedroom. She wants to act like her single self. Charlotte becomes frustrated with being a mother especially since her daughter, Rose enters the terrible twos. She also has to deal with the babysitter that refuses to wear a bra; Erin (Alice Eve) could get the affections of her husband, Harry (Evan Handler). Miranda is having trouble with a senior partner at her firm, Tom (Ron White) and wants to quit. Samantha is trying to avoid menopause by heeding the words of Suzann Somers by taking almost fifty pills a day and rubbing cream on naughty parts of her body.

Samantha’s ex-fuck buddy, Smith Jerrod (Jason Lewis) contacts her about being his date – as his publicist – to the red carpet première of his new war movie, Heart of the Desert. After the première, Samantha is invited by the film’s producers, Sheik Khalid (Art Malik) and Malmud (Dhaffer L’Abidine) to visit Abu Dhabi, where the film was shot. Samantha wants to take the girls for a lavish vacation. When they do, hijinks ensue as relationships and friendships are tested.

Look, this movie is eye candy. That’s all it is. You flock to the theater to watch fabulous women wearing outrageous clothes drinking Cosmos and screwing hot guys. What more do you want? Will it win Academy Awards? Of course not. It’s not fluffy fan service movie. I don’t care if there are sixteen sequels, I will watch them all with bated breath.

Judgment: It’s a nice romp of movie that will make you giddy with excitement.

Rating: ***1/2

SEPS Review: Bad Boys (1995)

Marcus, I just have one question for ya bro. How the hell you gonna leave my ass at a gun fight to go get the car!

— Mike Lowrey

Bad Boys is probably the only movie of Michael Bay’s that I actually liked a lot. I used to watch a burned copy of the movie when it was on rotation of HBO a couple of years ago. The guys at SEPS were playing this movie numerous times and I would be giddy with excitement watching this movie. I know almost every single line in this movie. Is it the end all, be all of buddy action movies? No, but it’s a helluva ride.

The story centers on a pair of Miami narcotic cops, the sexually frustrated Marcus Burnett (Martin Lawrence) and the trust fund playboy, Mike Lowery (Will Smith) who are reeling from a break-in at their precinct. A hundred million dollars worth of heroin is stolen when an ex-cop Eddie Dominguez (Emmanuel Xuereb) lets the bad guy, Fouchet (Tchéky Karyo) to get into the vault. Their boss, Captain Howard (Joe Pantanliano) wants the guys to get the dope back quickly before Alison Sinclair (Marg Helgenberger) would find any excuse to shut the station down.

Eddie becomes greedy when he takes a couple of blocks of the heroin and has a private spending spree. Mike’s friend who happens to be an escort, Max (Karen Alexander) is invited to party with Eddie in his Al Capone suite. She brings her friend, Julie (Téa Leoni) along. They wasn’t the best decision, because Fouchet barges in the suite with guns blazing. Takes down Eddie and Max. Julie manages to escape.

Showing up at the scene, Mike is distraught that his friend was lying under the sheet. He tries to find the person that killed her by himself. When Mike is away from his desk, Julie calls the precinct. She insists to talk to Mike Lowery only, but Marcus is the only one there. The Captain asks Marcus to pretend to be Mike to secure the only surviving witness before Fouchet’s men come knocking on her door.

The rest of the movie is like a comedy of errors when the two cops try to keep up with the charade of the living the each person’s home life in order to keep Julie from blowing town.

I believe this was the first movie I ever saw with two black male leads playing cops instead being criminals. It might have struck a cord with me that two black men could be the good guys for once. Knowing Michael Bay, he loves to have the explosions, women in scantily clad outfits and often ridiculous dialogue. That is his signature with all of his movies. I enjoyed this movie for basic entertainment value. The lines of dialogue are memorable. I could name a dozen of them, but I don’t want to bore you.

Judgment: A likable action movie with equally likable leads.

Rating: ***1/2

SEPS Review: Gone in 60 Seconds (2000)

 

Before I start my review, I would like to preface this by saying that I missed reviewing movies. As many of you know, I was away at Navy boot camp for a while. I was discharged from it because my eyes were too fucked up to effectively do my job, which was supposed to be an air traffic controller. I was in a place called SEPS, which is out of basic training. The guys there are being transitioned out. Not training, there was A LOT of downtime. I’m glad that had movies to pass the mind numbing boredom. I was there for over a month. I’m glad to be back. I’m missed you guys. Let’s get started. Shall we? 

Let’s just say that the picking were slim in SEPS. the first movie I ever saw in SEPS was the Nicolas Cage vehicle, Gone in 60 Seconds. I have seen bits and pieces of the movie over the years. I never had the chance to watch it, because I was stuck there I checked it out. This movie was like The Fast and the Furious, but less fun. 

Apparently this movie is a remake of a 1974 movie that I haven’t heard of. I supposed that it had the same basic premise except this version was updated with fast cars and lots of hot women. Whatever. The movie centers around a retired thief, Memphis Raines (Nicolas Cage) is pulled back into the car stealing business when a British crime boss, Raymond Calitri (Christopher Eccleston). Calitri threatens to kill his younger brother, Kip (Giovanni Ribsi) who botched an earlier job. The only way that Memphis could save his brother is to steal fifty cars on a list. 

With the clock ticking down, Memphis gathers together his old crew including his mentor, Otto (Robert Duvall) and old love interest, Sway (Angelina Jolie). When the crew starts on the list, this catches the attention of LAPD Detective Roland Castlebeck (Delroy Lindo) who dealt with Raines and his tactics. Castlebeck tries to be one step ahead of Raines with his partner, Detective Drycoff (Timothy Olyphant). Raines tries to steal all the cars in a 24-hour period to try to get the deadline. 

I wish that I could pontificate more about this movie, but the movie is a shallow action film that doesn’t satisfy you. I am perfectly fine with the anti-hero. I hate the typical cookie cutter endings to a movie. I was mildly enjoying this film as brainless entertainment, but the ending bothered the hell out of me. 

Judgment: It was a cop-out. 

Rating: **1/2 

I Have Some News

As of Monday, I will be coming back home to Houston. Things might be slow to go back to normal. I will introduce SEPS Reviews. The movies that I have seen when I was waiting to get dicharged from the Navy. I can’t wait to see new movies again. I missed so much when I was away. The Blather will be back soon and better than ever. Laters

Checking In

Hey, everyone. I’m still in Navy boot camp. Trying to heard word bout when I could go home. I’m stuck in purgatory. I want to get home. It’s boring not being able to do anything all day. It wears at your soul. I’m still watching movies. I have a shit ton of reviews for you when I get back. I have to go now. I love you, guys. Laters!

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