John M. Chu Does Action Better Than Christopher Nolan

Yeah, I didn’t believe it either, till began to think of Christopher Nolan’s Batman movies, starting with The Dark Knight Rises backward, and John M. Chu’s G.I. Joe: Retaliation, which I am currently watching on Netflix.

As much as I hate to admit it, Chu captures action much better than Nolan, which almost feel like sacrilege to say, but it’s true.

Maybe it has something to do with John M. Chu’s background in dance, because he seems to understand movement better, which is important.

That being said, Retaliation is composed of more than actions scenes, and overall Nolan is a much more ambitious, interesting director, though physical action just isn’t his thing (though I need to see Inception again, just to be sure).

Daredevil – Motion Poster 2

I like this motion poster.  Why, you may ask?  After all, all you see is Matt Murdock/Daredevil (Charlie Cox) looking at the camera.

Well, on one level, you’d be correct, after all, it is just Cox just looking at the camera.  But there’s more to it.  Look at it again and take a glance at his expression.  He looks sort of sly…as if there’s something he knows that we don’t.

Dead Snow 2: Red Vs. Dead -Review

Red Snow 2: Red Vs Dead movie poster

“Apparently, No One Told Director Tommy Wirkola That Sometimes Too Much Is Just Too Much.”

Have you ever known a person that you enjoyed being around, despite that they always seem to try way too hard to be the center of attention?

You may like them as an individual, but wish that they would just tone it down, if only a little bit?

Well, Tommy Wirkola‘s Dead Snow 2: Red Vs. Dead is the movie version of that friend.  The first Dead Snow was a pretty enjoyable horror movie and tribute to directors like George Romero, Sam Raimi, and John Carpenter (especially Carpenter, seeing that it was essentially a gorier, more humorous version of his 1979 movie, The Fog).

Unfortunately, the sequel tries way too hard, upping the ante by throwing in an evil arm (very Sam Raimi), and a troop of Russian zombies on top of the Nazi zombies that were raising Hell from the first movie.

But sometimes more isn’t better, it’s just more. In fact, when things really get moving you have to be amazed that he can even wrangle it all.

Despite the similarities to The Fog, it actually plays more like a  Sam Raimi movie–as opposed to something from John Carpenter, who takes his subject matter more seriously–who’s likely to mine horror for humor as much as violence.  Though there’s an important caveat:  When Raimi tends to do so the humor acts as a release valve (for tension), while in Wirkola’s case the effect is often the reverse.

In other words, while the humor and outrageousness are ramped up considerably, it’s typically at the cost of the horror.

Which is a pity because while the Nazis never needed help in being terrifying, very little of what made them so makes it intact to Tommy Wirkola’s movie.

 

Red Snow 2: Red Vs. Dead is currently on Netflix

Marvel’s Daredevil – Teaser Trailer

When Jeph Loeb, head of Marvel Television, said that Marvel’s Daredevil would be a more street level interpretation of the character, he wasn’t kidding.  The trailer looks gritty and nothing at all like Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. or Marvel’s Agent Carter.

I think that it’s neat that so far every Marvel series each has its own distinctive look and feel.

Horns – Review

Alexandre Aja is one of the most consistently interesting horror directors working today.  His Maniac remake–which he wrote with his writing partner, Grégory Levasseur–was excellent, and the work he did direct, such as High Tension (a fascinating movie that irritates the Hell out of me–in an Usual Suspects kind of way.  It’s a long story), The Hills Have Eyes reboot, Mirrors, for the most part are sublime.

Which has a lot to do with his last film, Horns, is so disappointing.

I haven’t read the novel by Joe Hill (son of Stephen King), but I would hope that his writing isn’t as erratic, as schizophrenic as this movie was.

My biggest gripe is that I had no idea why things were happening.  For instance, the movie opens during a murder investigation, and everyone–including his parents and brother–believes Ig Perrish (Daniel Radcliffe) is guilty.

The problem with this is that he (Spoiler Alert!) didn’t do it, but despite this fact he finds himself growing horns (?), which have two wildly inconsistent abilities.

So let’s for a moment forget that Ig is innocent, which means that there’s no justification for devil’s horns to suddenly start growing out of his head.

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Doug Stanhope: Miserablist Triumphant!

I don’t quite know why it is, but I find myself listening to a lot of Doug Stanhope lately.  I first heard of him from his concert, Beer Hall Putsch–available on Netflix–and from there I found a lot of his podcasts and concerts on Youtube.

He’s hilarious, though more importantly, he’s a comedian with an actual point of view.  You may not agree with a lot that he says–I know I don’t–but his observations are always interesting (and even enlightening sometimes).

Another thing is that, with many comedians, you can tell that while they may walk the walk, they don’t talk the talk.  In other words, their day-to-day lives have relatively little bearing on their comedy, except in an irritatingly observational way.

Not in the case of Stanhope, though I am not sure how much of what he says stems from a love of misery or if suffering only amplifies his humor, like sunlight through a magnifying glass.

He’s also done some commentaries for the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation), and all that I have seen are pretty hilarious.

His podcasts are also educational, after all, I didn’t know what the ‘Beer Hall Putsch’ referred to prior.  I also didn’t know that ‘miserablist’ was a real word (it is).

 

Beer Hall Putsch is on Netflix, and it’s definitely not meant for children.

The Interview – Review

The Interview movie poster

 “The Producers Of The Interview Should Consider The Sony Hacking Fortuitous Because There’s No Other Way Such An Otherwise Middling Movie Would Receive So Much Attention.”

When I first learned of all the hullabaloo over Sony Pictures’ The Interview, the first thing that came to mind was that if it weren’t for the hack, there’s no way the movie would warrant all the attention its received.

And I was right, though what’s I found more interesting is despite the movie being only intermittently funny it was at its best when it referred, directly or indirectly, to homosexuality (such as the bit about Eminem coming out, “honeydicking,” or using tiger blood as an anal lubricant) which can perhaps be interpreted as how infantile the movie, at heart, is.

And at the same time it’s almost anti-homosexual because there’s no other way to think about a movie that contains moments of Seth Rogen semi-nudity.

James Franco’s buys into the premise wholeheartedly, and his ‘Dave Skylark’ is pretty interesting in a vacant, opportunistic kind of way though I get the feeling that Seth Rogen as a producer aching to be taken seriously is probably the most outlandish thing about the movie.

And while Randall Park, who played Kim Jong-un, is pretty engaging as Kim Jung-un, and considered to be a rising star by some, I am willing to bet The Interview will be the most noteworthy thing on his resume.

Which wouldt be a bit disappointing.

And the movie ending with Winds Of Change, by The Scorpions is a bit…obvious.

The Interview is currently on Netflix