Wednesday, December 18, 2013

A Negative Review: Out of the Furnace Sucks

You would never see Christian Bale equally happy with Out of the Furnace

It appears that when I entered the theater, I really watched two separate movies – one was pretty bad, and the other was an utter travesty. The revenge-flick component, as falsely advertised to be what Out of the Furnace is all about, sort of works like this: Christian Bale goes after Woody Harrelson, who plays a psychotic hillbilly wacko backwoods hinterland peckerwood nut-job, based on some bizarre stereotype about what Ramapough Mountain inhabitants must be like. Apparently, this means that Harrelson is a slave owner living in the 1800s that also sells drugs and runs a fight club on the side – and honestly, it would be a waste of time to explain why this is ethnically incorrect. The other movie is about Christian Bale's bad run with lady luck, and could have been something interesting, but is repeatedly bogged down by the first movie. Overall, Out of the Furnace is more of an awkward experience than anything else, as the audience realizes what missed potential there was.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

A Negative Review: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Sucks

There is something to be said for leeway as far as novel-to-movie adaptations go. However, left unsaid, and often heavily implied, is the unfortunately lesser observed notion of keeping with the spirit and tone of the source material; in this manner, The Desolation of Smaug fails more severely than does Sean Bean in living until the end of a movie.

I can tell you that, certainly, I am a fan of Tolkien's work. I adore the books of the original trilogy, as well as the corresponding movies. When I read The Hobbit, I liked it very much as well – but if you were to show me the two current movies with which the novel shares its name, I would likely question whether the director had any actual contact with the novel. Throughout The Desolation of Smaug, only very few scenes and characters appear roughly based upon the novel – there are some barrels, there is a hike through Mirkwood with its corresponding spiders, and, unlike the previous installment, there is actually a fucking dragon in this movie. Unfortunately, and rather noticeably, in straying from the tone of the source material to such an extent, The Desolation of Smaug never quite makes up its mind about what kind of movie it wants to be. Is it trying to be funny, as a comedy of sorts? It it fantasy-adventure like the original trilogy? Or maybe, is it an action film? Well, the answer is irrelevant, because the movie utterly fails in all three departments: the humor entices no laughter, the action lacks tension, and the fantasy comes off as uninspired.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

A Negative Review: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire Sucks


Truly, getting through the first two thirds of this movie is an exercise in resilience – I was having trouble staying awake. In fact, the cinematography and acting felt so lifeless and generic that I actually thought my date, who was quietly groaning and sighing throughout, displayed more talent than what I was seeing onscreen; that Catching Fire is receiving so much praise is even more ridiculous than Jennifer Lawrence winning over Emmanuelle Riva at the Oscars. So without any further asides:

Sunday, November 10, 2013

A Negative Review: Dexter Season 8 Sucks

How the mighty have fallen...

There was a time when Dexter was one of the best things on television. Long gone, that time is... now all that remains of this once great show is the sort of joke that some drunken asshole would make at a party while spilling his beer over the girl he's trying to fuck. If you ever wanted an example of a show that went from good to bad to absolutely horrendous, Dexter may well be the textbook example. 

So, where did season 8 go so, so wrong...?

Saturday, November 9, 2013

A Negative Review: Ender's Game Sucks

Come now, Ender. It's impolite to stare.

So, before we get into things, did you know that Orson Scott Card is a homophobic racist? Just saying. 

Ender's Game, directed by the same idiot that brought you X-Men Origins: Wolverine, is certainly no slouch in the special effects over substance department. Nor in the absurdity department, for that matter. It's a movie about the sort of future where Earth is attacked by evil ant aliens and the best solution is to draft a bunch of child soldiers to use the skills they've honed playing video games to unknowingly commit genocide. Is this sounding just peachy so far?

Friday, November 8, 2013

A Negative Review: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Sucks


Let's face it: DS9 is pretty terrible. Of all the various Treks, DS9 was the only one to really have a Whedon-esque arc going on, but despite this, ended up falling victim to many of the shortcomings plaguing the likes of The Next Generation and Voyager. As the series progressed, character arcs went to some pretty weird places, various subplots were entirely forgotten, and Kira's haircut became increasingly more bizarre. Certainly, not all was bad – at least the entire show wasn't based around an omnipotent troll having decided to amuse himself by throwing humanity down the gauntlet. Instead, the entire show was based on some omnipotent trolls deciding they weren't having a good time with humanity and other "solids" (what?) in general, such that the former group ends up trying to murder everyone. And then something about magic power orbs and The Prophets. I'm not really sure.

It's quite difficult to judge DS9, however, because un/fortunately, the show is pretty selective about sticking to its various arcs with any consistency. It doesn't help much that the pacing between episodes is so grungy, either, since one minute you've got the crew relaxing on Planet Sex (sorry, I mean Risa), and the next you have the entirety of DS9 being evacuated for the 40th time because those silly Cardassians are raiding again. What is the show trying to do, really? Is this whole deal with the Dominion the focus, or is it fleshing out the characters in more casual scenarios? The show never quite makes up its mind, and developments obtained in one half don't necessarily carry over into the other. Perhaps this is all a bit vague, so at this point it's probably necessary to look at each character individually (starting with the shittest, and progressing to least shitty):

A Negative Review: Thor: The Dark World Sucks

This is all this stupid movie deserves

Why is it that recent superhero movies are so incapable of eliciting even the most stifled sort of excitement or creativity when it comes to the narrative and plot structure? Why can't the superhero genre move away from the craftsmanship of a kindergartener class and present its audience with something more... compelling? Thor: The Dark World is a huge disappointment, and supposing the auditorium in which I sat to view it was a pasture, the necessary amount of manure to be allotted in order to accurately parallel the garbage being spewed at me from the screen would exceed Asgard in terms of extent. That this movie had such a brilliant cast and still managed to fail is embarrassing, and that it will invariably become a box office success is disgusting.

I mean, really, Marvel, you've got a winning formula here. There is no reason to settle for such a bland, generic "saving the world" story as you've done here. There is no financial risk. People will come see these movies even if it was the 34th rendition – this very same year, Iron Man 3 (another shitfest) proved as much. Do you have any idea what some directors would do to get Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Anthony Hopkins, Idris Elba, and Tom Hiddleston, all in the same movie?  I wager they would quit drinking. They would probably travel to the four corners of the world. Certainly, they would even kill. Hell, I imagine they might even make a movie such as this and try to pass it off as a success! And yet, despite all of these great actors, The Dark World only delivers special effects and monotonous, uninteresting villains.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

A Negative Review: The Fifth Estate Sucks

Pictured: typical reaction to The Fifth Estate

The only thing leaking from The Fifth Estate is quality. To say that this movie is atrocious would be praising it – in fact, if you were actually so ambitious as to make that claim, the word would take you to court on defamation charges. It's that bad. It is unequivocally, bar none, the worst movie I have seen so far in 2013.

The movie opens interestingly enough, with what mostly everyone knows already: Assange has just published the infamous U.S. military and diplomatic documents, and the info-world is about to fall head over heels. Instead, however, the movie denies the viewer these reactions (and never ends up delivering them later on), skips back a few years to some irrelevant conference, then immediately goes into a montage to cheat the audience out of an exposition. When the movie decides there's been enough veering about and 2008-eqsue CGI, Benedict Cumberbatch takes the reigns and the movie stops trying to captivate.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

A Negative Review: V for Vendetta Sucks

Terrorism is really cool, guys!

Okay. So we're in Britain, about 20 or 30 or something years into the future (although technology has not advanced, apparently), and the government has been overtaken by what the movie passes off as the conservative party, even though by the movie's portrayal, said party is much more akin to the Nazis that the former historically stood up against. Anyway. None of the streetlights work, ominous shadows are gloomily cast along every dark alley, and the police is everywhere and out to get you. Now, enter Evey – a character so ineptly acted by Natalie Portman that she is often equating "the U.K." with "England" and commanding a British accent one would expect from someone having just thrown up a lump of charcoal. No matter. Petty trivialities. As one would come to expect, the "V" character is soon on-screen and prancing about, spewing out tirade after meaningless tirade until eventually the movie decides it's had enough and some substance needs to be given. It is at this point where everything slowly goes wrong...

Thursday, October 3, 2013

A Negative Review: Breaking Bad S05E16 "Felina" Sucks

No witty caption. But this looks cool.

Maybe now that Breaking Bad is over, its inflated reputation can eventually simmer down and some of its weaker writing can be viewed with a more objective eye. It's kind of hard to talk with people about this show because most are complete fanboys/girls who, by virtue of the show's absurd, weekly pre-episode hype, dismiss any illogical or wonky writing. This isn't to say that Breaking Bad is... bad... it isn't. Not at all. Breaking Bad is very good – however, season 5A mostly sucks and the series finale definitely sucks. So in no particular order...

Thursday, September 26, 2013

A Negative Review: Elfen Lied Sucks

I hate anime so fucking much

Ok guys, let's face it... Elfen Lied sucks. It is universally regarded as one of the best anime, however, often for some combination of the following... "unbeatable plot," "flawless delivery," "moral degradation of society manifested via sensational gore," or– well, it only gets increasingly pretentious. So here are some things to consider:

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

A Negative Review: Breaking Bad S05E14 "Ozymandias" Sucks

So to forego the typical introduction bit, let's just jump right into it, in order of appearance:

1. The episode opens, and soon Gomez is shown dead. This is the same character that has been around on the show for the past 5 seasons, and this is the send-off he receives. As I understand it, the point of involving Gomez in the hunt for Walter, from Hank's perspective, was to use the guy that would work with him instead of telling the rest of the DEA – this, because Hank and Gomez are close. They have built a friendly relationship over the course of the show, and Gomez has even been involved in some weird situations with Hank throughout their careers. Anyway, Gomez isn't just some random goon Hank could have brought along with him to arrest Walter – and yet, that is precisely the way this episode treats him. The way episode 13 ends, Gomez is alive and well, but the very first shot of him in Ozymandias already has him dead; this isn't just cheap... it's also insulting. The one guy you'd expect to care (Hank) doesn't get a shot to reflect his shock/etc., and is then immediately killed so as to prevent anything like that from happening regardless. After 5 years, I don't think it's too unreasonable to ask for something a bit more meaningful.

"But wait! They were in a firefight. There wasn't time!"
> Okay, fine, perhaps, but I don't think it's necessarily too good of an idea to bring up the firefight in defense of anything, seeing as how much of a train-wreck that whole thing was. Unfortunately, that firefight took place in the previous episode and is therefore outside the jurisdiction of this post. Anyway, while it's certainly true that Gomez's death being pretty lame doesn't mean too much given that he's a tertiary character (at least by the time this season rolled around...), but it could certainly have been done better.

Monday, September 16, 2013

A Negative Review: Inception Sucks

Why can't you just stop being movies?

I would like you to know that Christopher Nolan would like you to know that you are an idiot. Supposing you think this movie is "insanely brilliant," anyway, then this is probably the case and you don't have to bother with the rest of this post. Shoo.

Hot damn. This movie is two and a half hours in length. In and of itself, the length of a movie is never an item to hold against it, but anyway, Inception qualifies itself as garbage in record-breaking speed. Take your pick, really; the first act of this movie is problematic on many levels. The exposition entirely fails to set up a threshold for its characters to rise to, and also manages to weave a loopy web of logic that only becomes more absurd as the movie progresses. You wake when you fall, and also when your body hits water – except when it is necessary to demonstrate the effects of the latter, because then the former is disregarded if the two happen to intertwine (a mere five minutes into the movie, Leo falls in a chair into a tub of water, and in the dream, he sees the water; this implies that he hit the water before waking up, which raises the question of why the fall leading to the water did not wake him up). This is consistent throughout the movie, as one of the dreams in the main action of the movie has its world in zero gravity – this, because the creator of the dream is experiencing free fall in the level above his own dream (and of course, does not wake up, allowing the plot to move forward). And in saying all this, I am trying to demonstrate that Inception tries to masquerade its convoluted plot and logic as deep and perhaps challenging, hoping, desperately, that the viewer will not see through the ruse. Well, supposing you don't care, consider the following...

A Negative Review: Star Trek: Into Darkness Sucks

Typical reaction after seeing Star Trek: Into Darkness

Rarely, if ever, have I seen such an inept attempt at anything Trek as Star Trek: Into Darkness. Since seeing the movie, I am afflicted by hideously unsettling nightmares, which have since constituted such a tremendous impact on my psyche that the merest mention of sleep instinctively causes my spine to shiver and an all-encompassing sense of dead to take me over. In addition, any food I place into my mouth turns into ash, and everything I touch becomes withered and dies. In short... this movie, to me... is not a great movie. Into Darkness is Star Trek for those who know within themselves that they do not like Star Trek, yet insist on watching it anyway. The mess that results from this is a modernized geek aesthetic wedded with something perhaps less esoteric for the casual viewer, absent the philosophy, quirkiness, and admittedly silly ideals of the previous movies and series – but in doing this, Abrams has succeeded in stripping his movie of the very characteristics which define Star Trek.