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Posts Filed Under Movies

Oh Yes, There Will Be Blood

Filed Under: Movie Reviews

mastershake-281x450I know what you must be thinking: “Damn those Saw movies is good.” Well, friends, you are right - which is why I actually spent real American dollars acquiring the DVDS for Saw II through V (believe it or not, the first one was the worst). And that’s why I’ll happily tap out a review of much-anticipated (for me at least) Saw IV, whose DVD release is pegged for Jan. 26, according to Netflix (I no longer buy DVDs, even highly-coveted sixth installations of favorite horror series, primarily because its not 2002 anymore). But until then, you’ll have to be satisfied with what this really is: a year-late review of There Will Be Blood.

I don’t know why it took me so long to get around to TWBB; perhaps because all anyone ever said about the film was “Daniel Day Lewis is so good in that,” or “I drink your milkshake!” The former is certainly encouraging - but a singular stellar performance does not always a great movie make (see: everything Jim Carrey has ever made). The latter is what some might consider the film’s signature line (naturally, Daniel Day Lewis doesn’t say it until the last 10 minutes), and all manner of ironic T-shirts have been fashioned in its honor. But even combined, these two impressions hadn’t been enough and so here I am, months behind the curve, finally getting the joke.

Everything people said was right: Daniel Day Lewis IS amazing in the movie, in the way anyone is amazing who can make you forget they’re acting. The fact that Lewis is a rather selective actor only helps: unlike Will Smith’s flip-floppery between “I’m a real actor” and “I’m a superhero malcontent,” Lewis appears so sparingly in pop culture cinema that I found it easy to become immersed in his character. Good thing, too - since he’s on screen more or less the entire movie, and communicates via facial expression or prolonged silence as much as actual dialogue. And the milkshake line - well, it lives up to the hype. Read More ›

 
kira

12:13 AM on January 19th, 2010 | 

Posted by kira

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What A Crock

Filed Under: Movie Reviews

julie-and-juliaI just watched Julie & Julia with my family – a Christmas Eve compromise between It’s a Wonderful Life, which I’ve watched more or less every year since I was five and could probably recite from memory, and Star Wars, which Spike TV is currently playing in marathon and, honestly, never gets old. In fact, despite the movie choice being in actuality a compromise, it’s about as far from my normal decision-making process as possible: an entire film (and a long one, let me tell you) about the literal joys of cooking, as compared with several nostalgic hours of pre-Calista Harrison Ford and animatronic banthas. For someone who owns approximately one pan and has used her oven twice in ten months (and one of those times was to make pot brownies), the choice would have otherwise been fairly obvious.

As it turns out, J&J wasn’t as bad as I was expecting. Which isn’t to say it got bad reviews; most critics seemed wowed enough by Meryl Streep as Julia Child that they overlooked the movie’s rather tedious length and borderline endless discussion of actual cooking. In fact, in some deep-seated female part of my being, I guess the movie did make me want to cook a little – only because Amy Adams/Julie made cooking seem like such a respectable alternative to sitting around in your apartment and watching TV. It seems downright productive.

No, this is what really annoys me about Julie & Julia, and movies like it. Shit like that doesn’t really happen. Not to normal people, not often enough that watching it happen isn’t in actuality just as infuriating and depressing as anything else. People don’t dash off to France and magically overcome historical prejudice so they can go on to be one of the most famous chefs of all time. They don’t just happen to have husbands with government jobs that afford them plenty of leisure time to pursue a completely (at least at the time) absurd hobby, or pen pals who just so happen to know major book editors who just so happen to be interested in not only reading, but testing out, cookbooks from otherwise unknown authors.

And back in New York, in 2002, government employees don’t just decide to start a blog and then within a year not only have mastered cooking but also gotten numerous book deal offers, to say nothing of a movie starring, oh, Meryl Streep. People who live in dipshit apartments above pizza places in Long Island City are supposed to CONTINUE living in dipshit apartments above pizza places, or Chinese places, or butcher shops, to make the rest of us (read: me) feel like it’s totally OK to continue living in Brooklyn next to a car wash with a neon sign that sometimes blinks through our window the entire night.

So, in conclusion, fuck you Julia Child, and Julie Powell, for your uncommon success and its alleged ability to inspire (rather than depress) those of us who are forced to sit through a movie about your lives on Christmas Eve. This isn’t even a tale of hope, or of overcoming hardship. This is a story about two relatively happy people who became even happier through a series of fortunate and lucky events. And those stories, like Santa, aren’t real.

 
kira

10:33 PM on December 24th, 2009 | 

Posted by kira

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Slip ‘n Slide

Filed Under: Movies

There is an extremely high probability that this is a fake — but my god, just imagine how incredible the world would suddenly be if it wasn’t? And that’s exactly why this is the best science fiction film to come out all summer. Forget Star Trek, and Terminator, and Transformers — not even a huge pair of swinging Decepticon testicles tea-bagging preteen audiences in face-melting IMAX theaters all across the country can match the level of fun contained in a mere 24 seconds of this streaming video.

Now… if only it was in Disney Digital 3D, this would be setting major precedents in the genre for the first time since The Matrix. And honestly, at this point, I’d gladly trade quarter-mile-long crocodile miles in all of my big-budget action films over dudes barrel-rolling their way past a barrage of bullets all the goddamned fucking time. At least it’d be something new.

 
aaron

3:49 PM on August 6th, 2009 | 

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No One Wants To Be Defeated

Filed Under: Movies

I’m hesitant to say that the new Tron Legacy trailer is the latest entry in the dark realm of things nerds inappropriately masturbate to, but only because nerds really never stopped whacking off to Tron in the first place.

Now, due to my ongoing crusade to fill the gaps left in a world without Michael Jackson (which so far has involved far too much babysitting), I decided to share an alternate version of the Tron Legacy trailer instead, which features a perfectly synced up “Beat It” as the soundtrack — making this suddenly much cooler… in a homoerotic digital gang fight kind of way.

Plus, now any overexcited Comic Con attendees won’t even have to feel bad about their dirty little CGI fantasies considering the King of Pop himself is essentially ordering them to “just beat it.” Then again, it is a movie about a video game so… take that as you will. Not everything in life is about masturbation after all. Just most things.

It kind of redefines the concept of an 80s classics mash-up — it’s just as surprising and nostalgically amusing as Girl Talk, but didn’t require nearly as many half-naked hipsters to get there.

However, if I had to choose a classic sci-fi mindfuck to be recreated, I’d go with Total Recall. Unfortunately I think that title has already been reserved for the upcoming documentary about Arnold Alois Schwarzenegger’s career as Conan the Governor.

Yeesh… this post is dripping with so many movie references you’d think I crossed the streams.

 
aaron

4:50 PM on July 27th, 2009 | 

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I Scream, You Scream

Filed Under: Movies

orphanOrphan opens this week, the predictably plotted horror movie about unsuspecting parents who adopt some sort of demon child. But while scores of pre-teens are begging strangers to buy them R-rated tickets, adoption advocates have united in dismay over the movie, which they argue will fuel negative attitudes toward real-life adoptions.

Some adoption advocates are calling for a boycott, and a national coalition wants to sit down with Warner Bros. CEO Barry Meyer. The production company has already removed a controversial line from the movie, (“But how can you love something that didn’t pop out of your own va-jay-jay?”) in response to adoption-related objections.

But the best part? Warner Bros. spokesman Scott Rowe says the company is considering adding a pro-adoption message at the end of the film when it comes out on DVD, sort of like those public service announcements Saved By The Bell kids used to do after particularly poignant episodes about smoking, or domestic violence, or AIDS. Imagine it: 123 minutes of demon child, followed by two minutes of encouragement to go ahead, go out and acquire a strange youngster and invite them into your home. Show them where you keep the guns.

But really, haven’t we gone a little too far with the political correctness? I can only imagine how many horror movies would never have been made if a slew of advocacy groups had actually taken the time to raise a red flag. Hotel managers alone would be totally fucked (Psycho, The Shining). Nor have children as a whole been pleasantly portrayed in the world of horror – The Exorcist and Poltergeist are high-brow examples; Children of the Corn less so. And if one were to truly base their perception of reality on scary movies, no one, and I mean no one, would send their kids to summer camp.

The whole point of horror movies is to foster fear, and introduce people to the idea that danger is all around. It’s not always the trench-coat-wearing man in the alley, or the conspicuously observant cashier at the liquor store. It’s neighbors, teachers, friends, pets, even kids. Shit ain’t safe. Get used to it.

 
kira

3:29 PM on July 24th, 2009 | 

Posted by kira

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Project Gayhem

Filed Under: Dumb or Dumber, Movies

starbucks

I knew a kid in middle school with a Fight Club T-shirt. The back of the shirt, which included the rather redundant list of club rules outlined in the film, proved a valuable distraction in the midst of eighth grade science, but I always thought it was a bit disingenuous. After all, I knew this guy—he got A’s in school and probably played a lot of video games. Presented with an actual fight, I find it hard to believe he wouldn’t wind up stuffed in a locker with a bloody nose.

Today’s revelation that Kyle Shaw, the 17-year-old arrested and charged in connection with a small explosion outside an Upper East Side Starbucks, only proves a theory I’ve retained since those adolescent years: Fight Club really appealed to losers. Read More ›

 
kira

3:11 PM on July 15th, 2009 | 

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I Know What Boys Like

Filed Under: Movies

When Megan Fox pouted that Michael Bay’s movies, particularly recent release Transformers 2, don’t give actors a chance to showcase their skills, I admit I scoffed. In part because I think this is a conclusion one might draw by simply watching Michael Bay movies, but also because I have little sympathy for the “Look at me, I’m so pretty and all anyone ever notices is how pretty I am” line of defense. That said, and having received numerous assurances that T2 is pretty fucking shitty, I was willing to give newbie Fox the benefit of the doubt.

So then what the fuck is this? Granted, Jennifer’s Body is Cody Diablo’s much-anticipated follow-up to snark fest Juno, but I find myself a little underwhelmed with the premise, and rather reluctant to believe Cody’s writing, without the wunderkind delivery of Ellen Page, will be anything except a throwback to 1990s horror movies, with 21st century nudity.

Then again, who knows? I think you’re a glorified blow-up doll, Megan Fox, but with the Academy  putting a whopping ten films up for best picture this year, maybe your latest softcore porn will get a nod.

See a better quality trailer here.

 
kira

6:08 PM on July 6th, 2009 | 

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Happy ID4, Fellow Patriots

Filed Under: Movies

WE WILL NOT GO QUIETLY INTO THE NIGHT!

No… because there are far better ways to celebrate July 4th, such as stumbling drunkenly into the night, covered in sparkler burns, intestinal tract on fire with too much chili. God damn it, that is our right as Americans — to be drunk, reckless, crude and lazy. Yes, to do all that with pride and a smug sense of entitlement.

Indeed, that is what General George Washington and his brave men endured a brutal winter in Valley Forge for — so they could fight to one day see their hemp fields again, to smoke said hemp, and to then go to a barbecue, drink watered down beer, and eat shameful amounts of processed meats. Is that what it means to live in the greatest country in the world? I think maybe it is. But I’m confused and still drunk from celebrating July 4th Eve, so perhaps I will go quietly into the dark after all. It’s nap time.

 
aaron

1:47 PM on July 4th, 2009 | 

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An Offer I Can Refuse

Filed Under: Movie Reviews

pacino-352x450

"What's my line?"

In a bout with swine flu earlier this week, I watched not one, but two recent Al Pacino movies, figuring, as many (movie producers included) must, that at the very least, Pacino’s inclusion in a film means it couldn’t possibly be so awful as to not amuse me on my deathbed, whilst I am surrounded by used tissues and empty packets of Theraflu.

Oh, how wrong I was. Now, three days later, I find myself still trying to figure out what exactly happened in 88 Minutes, Pacino’s 2007 thriller about a forensic psychologist who gets a death threat from someone he presumes to be affiliated with a serial killer whose conviction was by no small measure secured through his expert testimony. Sounds complicated, right? You have no idea. Granted, I was in a medicinal daze and probably by no means qualified to decipher complex movie plots (I’m reminded of the time Aaron I tried to watch Kiss Kiss Bang Bang high and gave up after at least three attempts, each of which ended after the first five minutes with one of us going “Wait, what’s happening?”). That said, 88 Minutes didn’t need to be complicated.

The idea was simple enough. Pacino puts bad guy away, bad guy has large following of soft-hearted Americans who believe he didn’t really do it, Pacino’s credibility is called into question, another murder happens whilst the presumed serial killer is in jail, Pacino receives death threat, and an hour and 50 minutes of “action” ensues in which Pacino and a revolving door of females in supporting roles try to get to the bottom of things. Of course, throw in an almost obnoxiously large cast of red herrings, as identified for the audience through a series of “Oooh, creepy music, maybe this one’s the killer!” moments; along with Pacino’s character’s background (his younger sister was killed by a crazed murderer, who took guess how long to torture her), which in the end has very little to do with anything, and the long list of young women he appears to have slept with, each of them yet another “lady with a possible grudge” viewers are meant to remember.

Ultimately the writer got entirely too bogged down in what I imagine he thought was “character development” - when the reality is Al Pacino hasn’t played anyone other than himself in years. By the time the actual twist rolled around, I couldn’t have cared less who killed whom, so long as someone delivered a few choice moments of torture to the movie’s producers. Read More ›

 
kira

9:38 AM on June 12th, 2009 | 

Posted by kira

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Captain Planet

Filed Under: Movies, Zero Tolerance

Long has Disney pilfered the coffers of classical fairy tales and folklore in order to fund their empire of unadulterated, marketable glee. But now they’ve set their sights on a more modern fairytale of sorts to inspire their latest docudrama, where all the animals die and the children in the audience develop deep-seating psychological issues by the end of the film. The only difference this time is that James Earl Jones will be providing the narration, as Morgan Freeman reportedly declined due to his ongoing post traumatic stress disorder treatment following his work on March of the Penguins.

The new movie in question is called Earth, and the source material it’s shamelessly appropriating is not quite a fairytale so much as a groundbreaking, Emmy-winning, six-part megadocumentary — born when each individual episode combines to form a unique and awe-inspiring whole, sort of like a more naturey Devastator, of Transformers fame and lasting nerd-joke legacy. Anyway, the documentary in question is called Planet Earth… you might have heard about it. Or seen it on the Discovery Channel; in fact, I’m pretty sure it’s currently filling their entire programming schedule.

Earth vs. Planet Earth

Now, like any good outraged blogger with nothing to do on a Saturday afternoon but complain and smoke the half-burned remains of last night’s good cheer, I did my research. Apparently, Earth is, more or less, a feature-length version of Planet Earth… which seems a little retarded as Planet Earth was nothing if not lengthy. In fact, in this case, “feature length” means about 30% the length of the original material, making Disney’s latest excuse to drag all your whining kids to the movies no more than a watered-down CliffsNotes of its predecessor, and without Sigourney Weaver’s soft caress sending chills down my spine at that.

Frankly, I don’t see any reason why Earth should even exist, short of some Disney execs figuring they could make a whole bunch of money with relatively little effort, considering it uses the same fucking footage reedited and repackaged under the guise of family-friendliness. You’re going to have to do better than Darth Vader to get me in line for this one, Mickey fucking Mouse.

 
aaron

2:04 PM on April 25th, 2009 | 

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You’re An Amazing Creature, Spider-Man

Filed Under: Movies

Friday is a joyous occasion quite on its own — just having the ability to drink until you pass out and not have to wake up for work tomorrow and be late because you had to clean up the vomit is cause for celebration. A celebration, of course, that usually involves drinking until you throw up/pass out. It’s sort of like how Satanists celebrate by killing animals — destructive, barbaric, and really… not all that much fun. But hey, it’s a tradition. Just like racism, traditional marriage and war!

In case that wasn’t enough to get you riled up and excited for the weekend, which I can’t particularly understand, then you’re in luck — I just ran across some leaked footage from the next Spider-Man film. Can we say blockbuster?

Okay… how about ball buster? I was just playin’ with ya’ll, but come on, don’t act like you didn’t enjoy it. And lookie there, it’s already 10:30… Miller Time, baby.

 
aaron

10:30 AM on April 24th, 2009 | 

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Like Cars, but stupider

Filed Under: Movies

ff

Too Fast, Too Furious

If you’ve ever thought to yourself, “Hmm, The Fast & The Furious cast …where are they now?” then these last few months have given you your answers: Same. Fucking. Place.

Indeed, pretty much the entire cast of the 2001 blockbuster is returning this week for reprisal Fast & Furious, which Wikipedia calls an “interquel” in the lucrative but retarded F&F series.

Chronologically, the movie takes place between the second and third films, which means little to anyone who didn’t take the time to see of any the F&F follow-ups (read: the entire population). It reunites fugitive Dom Toretto (Vin Diesel) with policeman/agent/some sort of governmental authority figure with gelled hair Brian O’Connor (Paul Walker). Forced, by what will undoubtedly be some shoddy plot devices, to confront a shared enemy, and flanked by their original lady friends, the two must work together, which history tells us means driving really fast cars while making witty banter about one another’s ability to drive really fast cars.

This is hardly the first time original cast members have returned years later to reprise their career-making roles. Arnold Schwarzenegger in Terminator 3, Dr. Alan Grant in Jurassic Park 3, Yoda in Phantom Menace. Sadly, however, none of the F&F crew really has a career and their about-face reeks of desperation rather than loyalty to the brand.
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kira

3:00 PM on April 1st, 2009 | 

Posted by kira

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