Movie Reviews

Movie Review: The Wolfman

The Wolfman: A Classic Failure

Author: Timmie

(Originally posted on The Media Minx )

So this one is going to hurt. Get your wolfsbane and silver bullets ready because we’re about to dive into the remake of the 1941 classic film: The Wolfman.
This 2010 version stars Benicio del Toro, Emily Blunt, and Anthony Hopkins. You may also recognize the elf in charge of Rivendale from The Lord of the Rings and that guy with the glasses from The Matrix (Hugo Weaving) as the pesky inspector from Scotland Yard.

The story is similar to the original film albeit a little more boring. I’m not really sure what possessed any of these actors to be in this movie. The only one who seemed to even realize she was in a movie was Emily Blunt. That being said, one actor actually trying in a movie does not equal a whole…or something like that. That’s not to say she was actually good, just that she was aware that movie was being made.

Del Toro seemed to be in constant drug induced state, Weaving just wanted a pint of bitters, and I’m fairly certain that the cameras were just following Hopkins around in “a day in the life” style.

Basically the prodigal son returns home and gets bitten by a werewolf of unknown origin. Del Toro macks on his dead brother’s fiance (Blunt) while he and his father exchange meaningful glances. Weaving is sent in to investigate the town’s disturbances and the villagers turn into a mindless mob. Really riveting and innovating stuff here people.

This movie took out most of the interesting parts of the original about wolfsbane and the gypsies and replaced it with some slightly disturbing scenes in an asylum which I guess were supposed to solidify the mental torture that Hopkins (the actor not his character) has inflicted upon his son over the years. The otherworldly elements were mostly ignored except for a particularly sweet montage in which Blunt furiously searches for a cure in the lycanthropy books she just happens to have lying around her antique shop? I mean who among doesn’t have one or two lycanthropy coffee table books?

Spoiler Alert!!!!!: Hopkins (the person not the character) is a werewolf!! He killed his youngest son and bit Del Toro. I don’t know if you get the symbolism here so I’ll break it down. The son is destined to walk in his father’s footsteps/the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

The movie culminates in a huge fight scene between Del Toro and Hopkins. They do the traditional werewolf in mid-air clash. I’m not sure where that tradition came from. Probably archive footage of werewolves I guess because all filmmakers seem pretty damn sure that’s how a werewolf battle would go down. Both father and son die, but not before Weaving gets bit by one of them. (Seriously all the guy wanted to do was go down to the pub…damn) Do I smell the wafting aroma of a sequel?????

All in all this movie was pretty forgettable. I guess the updated effects were alright. I liked that they kept the original wolf/man style instead of the just wolf thing that Twilight seems to have taken to. When I think of a wolfman I think of a guy…that looks like a wolf, preferably wearing pin stripped pants and a white button down shirt (I would also have accepted a basketball uniform complete with sweat bands)

The minx says: A yawn of a movie. If you want to see werewolves check out the original from 1941 or the teen wolf series…a werewolf on the basketball court…freaking hilarious!

Movie Review: Musicals

Musical Terrors

Author: Timmie

(Originally posted on The Media Minx )

Why do people insist on making popular Broadway musicals into feature films? I know that it worked back in the earlier part of the 20th century, but things were quaint back then…not to mention it was way harder to get to an actual theater to see a live performance. I think it is also important to mention that many of the classic movie musicals were written specifically to be shown on the screen, Cinderella for instance.
Movie musicals eventually fell out of fashion…but when exactly did they come back? Now every freakin show that gets any recognition at all is turned immediately into a movie. Some of you may remember my previous comments regarding the ridiculous attempt at Rent by Chris Columbus. Needless to say, some musicals just do not need to be made into movies. Andrew Lloyd Webber just keeps pushing the envelope on that. First with Evita starring Madonna and Antonio Banderas (nice) and then with The Phantom of the Opera (POTO). I am going to go out on a limb and say that POTO is crappiest of the two.

Like Rent, POTO seems off from the get go. Without even going into the casting, the cinematography is just crap. I think they set a world record for number of crossfades in a feature length film, and they happen in the most awkward places. “Look, there’s Emmy Rossum in front of the mirror (crossfade happens)…oh there she is…still?? Nothing has happened?!??” Throw in a little fog juice and you’ve really got a party.

Two words: Minnie Driver. What is she doing in this movie??? 1. She can’t sing. 2. She can’t lip sync to someone else singing. I do kind of feel bad for her though. She’s like the modern day Audrey Hepburn circa My Fair Lady except without the class and fashion sense.

So Emmy Rossum plays Christine in this rendition. I don’t suppose it needs to be said that she is no Sarah Brightman. I know that the character is supposed to be like 18, but I really don’t need to hear an actual 18 year old screeching out those high notes. She looks hot enough in those skimpy outfits I guess, but like in Avatar looks should not be everything.

Honestly I don’t even feel like mentioning Raoul. He’s pretty transparent throughout the whole thing. That speaks to his voice and his acting. Every once and a while he’ll say something you actually notice…only because he says it so damn awkwardly. The dialogue between Raoul and Christine especially…is just brutal to listen to. It seriously makes me want to crawl under a rock.

I saved the best for last of course: Gerard Butler. What a Phantom…by which I mean terrible. I wasn’t aware that the POTO was supposed to be a sex symbol. He’s probably the worst singer of the bunch as well. They tried so desperately to cover it with reverb, with no avail. I think they wanted to hide it by shooting a lot of Christine and the Phantom grinding up against one another…which is in itself disturbing.

I don’t want to go into this much more in depth, but there is one particular scene that I just have to mention. In the underground lair Christine tries to remove the Phantom’s mask. I think it’s pretty common knowledge that he’s very badly scarred…which is why he wears the mask. She pulls it off of him and you see his whole face. He looks fine!!! They didn’t even bother to put makeup on him for the scene!! WTF? If he’s not scarred then why is he wearing the mask and living in the basement? Maybe he just can’t afford rent. It’s a metaphor for kids overstaying their welcome at home after college.

Honestly I’m sick of talking about this already. The casting doesn’t make any sense, the singing ranges from mediocre at best to just atrocious, the acting is flat, the love story is disturbing, and the visuals are extremely overdone and cheesy. Please don’t see this movie.

The minx says: This movie should go and hide in the basement of a Paris theater…far away from everyone for centuries to come.

Movie Review: Avatar

More Like Avatard

Author: Timmie

(Originally posted on The Media Minx )

Yes I’m sorry everyone. I went there. I know that this movie won some bullshit awards recently and it’s super popular right now, but seriously James Cameron? Is that the best you can do? You had over a decade to work on this and Avatar is what you have to show for it?
As for the awards, the only thing that makes sense to me is that the entire Golden Globe committee was made up of Avatars…all controlled by James Cameron. Either that or they were just too amazed by the 3D special effects (the only plus side to this movie) that they didn’t notice the plot.

Yes that’s right. I admit that that it looked cool. But that’s not a reason to give it best picture of anything. I’ve seen a lot of movies in the last year, and almost all of them were better than Avatar. The fact that a movie has good effects and animation does not automatically make it a good movie!

One might ask, “what the hell is your problem with this great movie minx?”

Well dear reader…sooo many things. If I took the time to name everything wrong with this movie, I’d be writing for like two days, so I’m going to break it down into just a couple major categories.

  1. This movie takes no risks whatsoever. It’s so clear that Cameron was only trying to appeal to the masses. There is literally nothing clever in this entire film.
    Example a: The freakin planet is called Pandora!!!!! Really??? Really?? It’s not like we want to hit anyone over the head with anything here.
    Example b: What are these people mining? Oh a little something called unobtanium. Do I really need to say anything else about this? I mean I don’t know what we’d do if anyone in the audience actually had to think…ever!

The only thing that’s even a little edgy is the fact that the main character is in a wheelchair…which of course they barely dwell on. Not to mention he’s in his avatar body for most of the movie. You rarely have to deal with the fact that he can’t walk.

Any moments that might possibly evoke some kind of real emotion from a character are cut off just as fast as they appear. Again it’s important to remember that we don’t want to offend anyone.

  1. This movie is rampant with racism. It’s supposed to be about saving an indigenous people, but it’s important to notice that they can’t possibly save themselves. Not in Cameron’s world anyway. In the end it isn’t an actual Na’vi that saves the world from the evil nondescript corporations…it’s the white guy in a Na’vi suit. Everyone knows that any culture outside of America is incapable of protecting and or saving themselves.

Also the actors playing the various Na’vi characters were riddled with just anyone…as long as they were not WASPs. I’m pretty sure that the casting call just said “Open casting for any and all minority groups, cause let’s face it…you people are all the same.” Honestly I’m surprised that Antonio Banderas didn’t make an appearance. Sidebar…did you notice that the guy from Last of the Mohicans, Magua, was the chief? He rocks.

James Horner clearly took snippets from any stereotypical “multicultural” music that he had just lying around the house, pasted them together and handed it in. Again it goes back to not taking any risks at all. It would have been so much more interesting to have a unique sound. After all, this is supposed to be a brand new world. Apparently they have Audacity and Sibelius on Pandora. Maybe they can download it directly through their ponytails and cut and paste the clips right there to make a mashup.

Honestly if this movie had not been so hyped up, I may have thought it was ok. But if I had worked for more than ten years on one project and this is all I produced, I would be ashamed. At it’s very best it’s an average movie with cutting edge special effects. If someone gave me over 300 million dollars to make a film I think I would try to make it a little more interesting.

Bottom Line: Looks are not everything in a movie. If this is going to be the new trend in movies then I don’t want to be a part of it. The plot is lame, the acting is two dimensional, and there is nothing emotional to cling to. A hint from the media minx to you James Cameron…stick to what you know aka stories about white people.

Movie Review: 2012

The End is Near

Author: Timmie

(Originally posted on The Media Minx )

What is the one thing that you can’t get enough in the film industry???
If you said disaster movies you’re absolutely correct!!! Hurray for you. Give yourself a nice pat on the back for being a complete tard.

People love disaster movies, and they made a comeback in a big way with the total turd of a movie, 2012, which was released a few months ago. This way too long whirlwind of a movie stars John Cusack, Amanda Peet, the guy from Love Actually/Serenity, and that guy who looks like Greg Kinnear. The surprises never stop coming either with special appearances by a clearly insane Woody Harrelson, and a washed up and depressing Danny Glover. Actually, based on his performance I’m pretty sure Glover has dementia now…either that or he is like the most amazing method actor I’ve ever seen.

So apparently the Earth’s core is heating extremely rapidly. I guess it’s supposed to be in a constant blow-popish state, but it’s become more like a chocolate truffle sitting out on a counter in the heat for too long. One bite and that thing is going to blow. Some Indian scientists tell the guy from Serenity the truffle situation and rushes to a white house function to tell the president.

Flash forward a little in time to meet John Cusack who is painted as the artist who lost it all: wife, book deal, kids (listed in order of importance), and is working as a limo driver. He’s pathetic, but not so much that you think he can’t win. After all, the guy from Serenity bought his book.

Most of the plot is too boring to go through step by step so I’m just going to ramble it off:

The government thought they had more time before the Mayan calendar expires.

They don’t

John Cusack meets Woody Harrelson, who wants everyone to download his blog?? He’s trying to spread the gospel about a big government conspiracy and the world ending. They’re building space ships (which turn out to be boats).

Cusack throws his family together, including Greg Kinnear guy, who btw only knows how to fly a single engine plane and is boning Cusack’s wife. They somehow get a plane and manage to escape with it all the way to China. There are some other steps in between these happenings…but come one, does it really matter?

Glover plays the martyr in DC as the rest of the big wigs, including the guy from Serenity, escape to China. Glover and pretty much everyone else in the world die! But let’s get back to where the action is.

The top cabinet guy or something…it’s never really clear, is now taking charge of pretty much the world. Of course he’s painted as evilish.

Cusack and the gang make it to the boats in China. Again it’s not important how. Greg Kinnear guy get crushed to death because how else would Cusack and his family be reunited in the end?

Serenity and Cusack manage to save the day and the arcs float off into the ocean together.

Cusack and family are reunited, and his daughter (who previously had a urination problem) is cured.

They try to end the movie on a positive note, but wtf people??? Basically the entire world just died. Oh you’re going to sail to Africa to start over huh? Well F*%$ you dude! The rest of us are probably dead! Glover is done in for sure. How can you just casually be like “oh let’s start over?”

This a freaking disaster movie people. It is not appropriate to end the movie with a joke about wetting the bed. I didn’t realize we were watching Home Alone 12 “Where’s Your Home Now?” That pesky Fuller’s at it again.

The casting/acting is crap. The plot is unnecessarily convoluted in all the wrong places. I’m pretty sure they were trying to make a serious movie, but it’s just laughable. From effects to storyline this movie is super bad. I will say though: if they were going for epic…success. 2012 is epic. Epically terrible!

While there are a few humorous scenes (unintentionally so), 2012 is way too long to be tolerable. I suggest a directors cut of only the scenes of Greg Kinnear guy flying in between buildings sideways, Woody Harrelson being killed by lava, and the giraffes being helicoptered through China.

The Minx’s prognosis: If I were managing the end of the world arc building/world saving project…anyone that legitimately liked the movie 2012 would NOT be saved.

Media Review: The 80’s and 90’s

Is It Nostalgia Talking?

Author: Timmie

(Originally posted on The Media Minx )

We all have those memories from our childhood when we think “man was that awesome, I used to love that (insert show, band, movie, book, pretty much anything entertainment oriented).” Let’s take a short walk down memory lane to see how some of youngster minx’s favorites rank on my scale today.
To help with time management, I’ll only be touching on a few examples. Anyone that grew up in the 1980’s and 90’s would agree that we had a ton of rockin entertainment material, but unfortunately a review covering everything would be way too long for anyone to bother to read. With that brief disclaimer out of the way, here it goes.

First thing that comes to my mind from the mid 90’s to me is Ace of Base. Do I really need to say anything else? Chubby 10 year old me could not get enough of these guys. Not only did I have their most popular album, The Sign, I even bought The Bridge! I recently took another gander at some of this bands work, and to be perfectly honest, it left me wondering what in the hell I was thinking. Ok so they have decent backbeats to their songs, but unfortunately it’s always the same one. I pretty much couldn’t tell the difference between “All that she wants” and “Don’t turn around.” It wasn’t a bad song, it was just all the same. On the other hand the album title song, “The sign” was still totally rocking! It’s about the only thing these Swedish hipsters have going for them. Take my advice and ditch the album. Just import “the sign” onto your party mix.

Moving on to musicals. This section may not be for everyone; however I am not ashamed to admit that I have a soft spot for musicals. I think most people would agree that the most cutting edge and popular show of the mid to late 90’s is Rent. Jonathon Larson’s twist/rip off of the Puccini opera La Boheme was the coolest. I’m not ashamed to admit that I was totally into it just like everyone else, but then again I was only like twelve. The music and presentation of the show was completely different than the classic styles of teams such as Rodgers and Hammerstein. The story was interesting enough, and powerful enough to speak to a generation of struggling artists I suppose. The question is, has Rent been able to stand the test of time? NO. It was cool for a while, but what is it still doing on Broadway? Every washed up star available has pretty much been involved with it at this point. I mean seriously? Scary Spice??? Are you kidding me? Know when you need to give up ok people. And fyi…Rent is not cool anymore kids. It does not speak to your generation and it’s not about pampered upper middle class suburbanites that want to go to theater camp. It was an important marker in the genre of musical theater that should be remembered. That being said, the music is out dated and cheesy and to be quite honest, I’m not sure how the whole market didn’t crash after that atrocious Chris Columbus movie that came out in 2005. I could go on for a few more paragraphs about how sad the actors in the movie look considering the fact that they are obviously like 40 and are still struggling artists in NYC, but I don’t want to depress you even more. Bottom line on Rent: move on people. It’s soooo over!

Lastly for now is the movie category. I thought I would pick two nostalgic childhood movies to compare for this section. The first is The Mighty Ducks. Wow what a piece of crap. I used to love this movie as a kid. I’m pretty sure that I made my parents take me to the sequel too. How did our parents manage to get through this in the theater with us? I’m assuming that heavy sedation was involved. The jokes aren’t funny and the characters choices are about as thought out as a rural high school production of Les Miserables. As if you couldn’t tell, I watched this recently and was sorely disappointed. Does it get any better than a villain with a ridiculous vendetta and no clear motivation? YES! It gets so much better than that. Emilio I’m surprised at you. Thankfully you were only phoning this part in. Good luck next time.

The Goonies is another of my favorite childhood movies. After having been so embarrassed at the other entertainment choices of my youth, I had to take another look at this classic to see how it stood the test of age and time. Luckily this movie still rocks. The characters are probably funnier now than they were when I was younger. There is obvious slapstick comedy for the kids, and word play and references for the adults. I’m pretty sure all my parents needed to enjoy this movie with me was popcorn. There is an additional layer of hilarity to see now famous actors such as Sean Astin, and Josh Brolin in some of their earlier work. The friendships and family relations are believable, and the story between Chunk and Sloth is both humorous and touching. The story is a combination of realistic bordering on the unbelievable. It’s not too out there to pull audience out of the experience. The minx says: genuinely fun for the entire family. A classic to watch more than once.

That’s it for today. If you have a childhood favorite you’d like discussed let me know. I love a trip down memory lane.

Movie Review: Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

First of All

Author: Timmie

(Originally posted on The Media Minx )

Let me begin my postings on a high note by saying that Mr. Smith Goes to Washington is one of the greatest movies of all time.  I mean how can you go wrong with James Stewart ever?  He plays the character of Jefferson Smith with such innocence and wonder, yet his strength of character radiates throughout the entire film.
Stewart and his supporting cast members bring the audience along with them on a 2 hours and change emotional whirl wind.  We feel his excitement as he arrives in Washington for the first time, and we feel his exhaustion as he stands in the Senate holding the floor for over 23 hours, reciting American historical documents.

In a time where it seems non existent, Stewart makes you believe in the American Dream again.

As in a great many classic films from the earlier part of the 20th century, the acting of the entire cast is fantastic.  Mr. Smith Goes to Washington doesn’t need flashy cuts or special effects because the story and heart felt acting is enough.

If you’ve been watching nothing but Michael Bay movies as of late, I encourage you to pick up this movie and take a gander.  You may be surprised at how fulfilling a movie can be without overusing “edgy” effects and camera work.

Today’s lesson:  Sometimes you just need to get back to the basics.