The Movies of 2015: Tremendously Belated Edition

Getting married at the end of 2015 significantly hosed my schedule for a year of movies recap, so here’s my long overdue post that’s been sitting in some form as a draft for the last 3 months. Pardon the mess.

2015moviestubs

Look at all these dresses & tickets!

Spoliers ahoy, so quit yer whining. 2015 had some real gems, and some true trash. Enjoy!

FAUX AWARDS;

Delightful Holiday Romp: The Night Before.
Shockingly Violent and Fun: Kingsman: The Secret Service.
The Most Fucking Infuriating Movie of 2015: While We’re Young.
Most Fun Erotic Dancing: Magic Mike XXL.
Fun Superhero movie that wasn’t Stupid Gritty: Ant-Man.
Best Thriller featuring Jason Bateman as the DouchepocalypseThe Gift.
Best Use of a Soiled Adult Human Diaper: The Visit.

THE GOOD;

  • Spotlight. So happy this won Best Picture at the Oscars this year, holy hell. A really incredible story about a team of journalists unraveling systemic child abuse within the Catholic Church, set in Boston. Absolutely gripping, heartbreaking, and a must-see. Mark Ruffalo remains flawfree, and Michael Keaton has atoned for Birdman.
  • The Night Before. Didn’t have any expectations going into this, and it was wonderful. Fun comedy, good backstory, outrageous shit happens, there’s drugs, and it’s Christmas. I love Christmas.
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens. This movie is pretty polarising, but I really enjoyed it. Adam Driver is a fucking revelation.. Daisy Ridley, John Boyega and Oscar Isaac too. These characters are instant classics, and I am really excited to see what happens. The music, the vibe, all of it.. spot on. No Lucas CGI or garbage in sight. Is Snoke really just a tiny bug? Will Hux bust a forehead vein while screaming about how boss the First Order is? Has Luke just been JO’ing for the last 30 years on that Ireland planet???
  • The Martian. Probably my favourite movie of 2015. I saw this flick twice in one day because I’m a fucking maniac. Loved the book, loved the movie more. The soundtrack, Matt Damon carrying the whole damn thing, the science fiction end of it all.. just fantastic.
  • The End of the Tour. Jesse Eisenberg and Jason Segel star in a rare dramatic film for them both, centering on Rolling Stone writer David Lipsky interviewing David Foster Wallace post-Infinite Jest during his book tour. I can’t say enough positive things about this movie.. powerful performances, genuine character moments, and the dialogue in this flick is top notch which is no easy feat. Seriously worth seeing. I was lucky enough to see this at the San Francisco Film Festival!
  • Creed. Man, this movie is just wonderful. Michael B Jordan was seriously snubbed for his performance as Adonis. And Christ, is there anything sadder than seeing Rocky fucking Balboa being diagnosed with cancer?
  • The Big Short. Who knew Adam McKay could churn out something like this? Seriously one of my favourites. The book of the same name is incredibly dense and hard to get into, but the movie is just right. Bonus: Ryan Gosling’s spraytan explosion.
  • The Hateful Eight. Technically I saw this on New Year’s Day, but whatevs. Well worth the 70mm Roadshow half a day of viewing, this flick is just about everything you could ever want from a Tarantino western.
  • The Connection. Jean Dujardin stars in this French film based on the 1970s French Connection, as the police magistrate taking down a massive drug ring. Utterly and completely captivating.
  • Joy. I didn’t love this as much as I thought I would, but it’s definitely a solid movie. I’m a David O Russell fan, and Jennifer Lawrence knocked it out of the park. There’s absolutely charming writing/character moments and the soundtrack was spot on, but the pacing overall is a little off. The third act could have been fleshed out more for sure, but well worth a watch either way.

THE BLAND;

  • Bridge of Spies. This movie is neither great nor bad, it just is. I enjoyed it a lot, but it’s very much one of those Spielberg(TM) movies. This is not to say that the man isn’t magical, it was just a very by the numbers flick to me. Tom Hanks remains flawfree, however.
  • The Gambler. Saw it, forgot about it almost immediately. Loved Mark Wahlberg’s haircut.
  • Taken 3. Oy vey. It’s enough already.
  • Mad Max: Fury Road. Unpopular opinion, I know, but this movie did nothing for me. It felt like being blown out of a cannon at a million miles per hour, but that’s about it.
  • The Man from U.N.C.L.E. Besides the incredible costuming and period setting, this movie was a whole lot of nothing. Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer are two gigantic brawny dudes who can barely fit into human man clothing, some shit blows up, and there’s a girl involved. Oh, and spy shit. I think.
  • Steve Jobs. Eh.

THE CONFUSINGLY HORRENDOUS;

  • Tomorrowland. Jesus, this is still disappointing to me. I followed the development of this flick for actual years. YEARS, Lindelof. Brad Bird, apparently some kind of nerd god, was supposed to make this into THE MOVIE. That one we’ve all been waiting for! And he’s got the writers from LOST too! Instead, it was just a steaming pile. I’ve got some more ranting about this movie for another post to come soon..
  • While We’re Young. Oh god, no. OK. This movie was presented as a hip 40something married couple living an interesting/eclectic life in NYC, and they meet younger friends. Suddenly friends their age had a baby and they wonder “wait, do we need to do that too??” (actual answer: NO). The main characters have a shaky marriage at best. Their friends yammer on about how fulfilling it all is or whatever as a baby shrieks, so they begin to question themselves and go on one of those intolerable hipster finding themselves journeys for rich people and befriend some 20somethings (Adam Driver and Amanda Seyfried) who are totally delightful but Quirky(TM). And they’re totally cool being an awesome couple without kids, TIL THE END WHEN THEY ADOPT A BABY BECAUSE IT’S GOING TO FIX THEIR MARRIAGE AND HOW CAN WE ENJOY LIFE WITHOUT CHILDREN. NO. NOOOOOOOO. Burn it to the ground. Nope.
  • Jurassic World. U G H this pile. Where do I even begin? The main characters are garbage, the made up new dinosaur is a mess, the regurgitated bits and pieces of the original amazing Jurassic Park were just annoying, and the excessively violent death that happens to Fake Jessica Chastain’s assistant for no reason was just too damn much. The kid from Iron Man 3 is charming enough, though. It seems that re-booting a franchise in the present day means taking absolutely nothing about what made the original movies worth watching/movie magic in the first place and just jamming surface level things like the musical cues and logos on stuff. It’s a poorly written mess where you don’t give a damn about any of the characters in the least. BOOOOO.
  • Spectre. Good god, what in the fresh hell happened here? This movie has some powerful moments but is pretty unpleasant overall. The performances are good and the stunt work is incredible, and I know better than go into a James Bond flick expecting anything ~super deep~ but Spectre is an all around letdown. I really wanted this to be good, Skyfall set a high bar. Instead, they were like “let’s take all the cool bits of Thunderball/You Only Live Twice, add a terrible whiny Sam Smith song, criminally under-use Christoph Waltz, jam it all under the hydraulic press, and VOILA!” Mess. At least it wasn’t anywhere near as fucking boring as Quantum of Solace, so it’s got that going for it.

Anyhoo, that’s my schpiele. Thanks, 2015! I’m working on something about Midnight Special right now, so expect that in the next few days.

Sorry, Ghostbusters; nope.

Not to be a buzzkill, and I understand that pretty much everyone I know is popping boners for the new lady Ghostbusters movie trailer that just dropped, but as a whole it honestly does nothing for me. I’m actually a little repelled. Why is that exactly?

Nostalgia doesn’t do a hell of a lot for me, truth be told. Never has. The re-hashing of Ghostbusters seems to have lost what made the original so great; that movie had heart, subtle humour, and a good core science fiction story. It seems like they missed what made that first movie great; the same phenomenon happened with Jurassic World.

I know this is just a trailer, but comedy today has really lost something with this current generation of writers and comedians. I feel as if I no longer understand the path they’re choosing with comedy specifically.

Get off my lawn.

Modern comedy seems to have devolved into some sort of smug neo-SNL ‘THAT’S THE JOKE’ pointedly awkward mess. I haven’t genuinely enjoyed a comedy in years, and that’s really a shame. Sometimes the comedy aspect will work for a good chunk of the movie, but completely fall the fuck apart in the second or third act.

Trainwreck was on its way to being an enjoyable feminist fairytale of a foul-mouthed party girl who has it all; the career, the apartment, a shameless proud sex life, and perhaps a guy who could share it all with her if she so desired. I was on board, I was into it!

And then they sent it straight to hell towards the end of the second act where the protagonist has an emotional breakdown because, basically, women aren’t “supposed” to be that way, and she has to Settle Down(TM) like her bland-ass sister and OH MY GOD IT TURNS OUT THAT’S WHAT SHE’S BEEN YEARNING FOR ALL THIS TIME BUT FELT TOO UNDESERVING OF IT AND HAS LOW SELF ESTEEM AND THAT’S WHY SHE’S THAT WAY IN THE FIRST PLACE. Woof.

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File footage of me in the theatre when that happened. image courtesy of Reddit

And I get it, I really do. People change, people move forward with their lives, that’s how shit works; but you don’t have to denounce what you were doing in the past or who you once were to get there. For Christ’s sake, own that shit; it makes you who you are.

Am I totally mortified at the nonsense I used to do and say? Abso-fucking-lutely. But I would not be who I am today if I was not that vague garbageperson yesterday.

Can’t she just be her damn self and be different and embrace it? I identified heavily with her character in the first half of the movie, truth be told. I was really rooting for Trainwreck to be about how you can be a different and unironic woman, still enjoy yourself in ways that feel true to you, and actually find someone to share that with who won’t think you’re a shell of a person because you’re not The Norm. Too bad it blew up into Romantical Garbage territory and immediately caught on fire. Why does the fact that this lady is different automatically make her Bad?

I look back on the comedies of yore, and I guess the difference is that they’re consistently written well, they’re simple, and have heart. Ace Ventura isn’t trying to serve some greater idea of people-dom, it’s simply a well put together story about a passionate maniac who loves animals, yelling, and solving mysteries. Uncle Buck offers some great insight into being proud of where you come from, and that being different or weird isn’t bad, you need to own it. Tommy Boy tells the story of a goodhearted (though dumb) character who has been told all his life that he’ll only ever be the funny fat party guy, but it turns out he can really accomplish things and defy the odds if he set his mind to it.

The fact that the protagonists of these movies are all men isn’t lost on me either, by the way. To me, the point of those comedies is universal. They didn’t have to be women in order to really speak to me.

Somewhere along the line, I guess that idea got lost. The times are changing, and I’m in no way saying that’s a bad thing; I think we aren’t quite there writing-wise yet. They’re still searching for ways to make female characters who are different have some sort of ~tragic backstory~ or some shit to explain why they are that way instead of just .. being themselves as characters, like they fucking write men. It’s especially confusing when the writers of some of these female characters are women. How the hell does that happen?

I agree that the representation of women in film is extremely important, and it’s always great to see ladies kicking ass, but I disagree that these more recent movies should be seen as AUTO-FANTASTIC because of #women. Mad Max: Fury Road is a good example of that. Sort of a misfire plot-wise, but everyone collectively shit their pants because WOMEN. When I tried to look a little deeper at that movie, I came up empty-handed and sort of confused at the Tumblr fanaticism surrounding it. I agree that it’s incredibly well-crafted and envisioned, but it fell flat to me.

There’s so many other, better places to find female characters who aren’t awful.

Bridesmaids was, for all intents and purposes, intolerable. It exemplified everything I can’t stand about comedy today; pointing at a joke that was just made to make sure the audience got it, gratuitous gross-out stuff, try-hard writing crystallized into catchphrases specifically for t-shirts and memes.. the list goes on. Yet everyone lauded this movie for its’ fresh take and all female cast! MESS. I felt like I was taking fucking crazy pills.

Mean Girls, on the other hand, works perfectly. Good storytelling with emphasis on being yourself, and what that means as a teenage girl. It’s not tryhard or over the top, it’s actually funny, and has a good message. Alright.

Kill Bill is an example of a fantastic female character. (..though not necessarily a comedy depending on how you look at Tarantino..) Beatrix Kiddo has agency. She’s wild, strong, and kicks several asses, but she has a softer side as well; and she’s not ashamed of who she is. Her journey as a character is relatable, even though she’s an assassin.

The core reason that the Ghostbusters trailer/idea doesn’t speak to me is that I grew up in a house where there were no limits as to what I could be or wanted to do. I was never told “no” to something because I was a lady.

Yeah yeah, I know some of you are gonna shriek PRIVILEGE here, but that’s my truth. I feel really lucky and #blessed to have grown up that way. My mother was an extremely positive role model for me, and she always encouraged me to follow my dreams and be completely unashamed of who I am no matter what other people said. Feminism wasn’t something that we ever spoke about explicitly, it was just understood. It was/is life.

The first time I distinctly remember my mom changing my life, I was 7. I was having some issues with a friend being a jerk to me, and was truly upset about it and felt badly about myself as a result.

My mom’s response? “Eh, to hell with her.” She spoke to me as a peer. Totally changed my perspective on the issue at hand, and she reinforced that so long as I wasn’t being hurtful, I was a good person and should always be proud of who I am. There will always be people who don’t dig you, but focus on the ones who do. Truth bombs.

On the other hand, I completely understand why this movie needs to exist. There are so many women of all ages who didn’t grow up the way that I did, and look to pop culture for female role models. So that’s definitely positive. I’ve done the same at times, and I can’t hate on that. Admittedly I am still searching for a female character I can entirely relate to, without the plot twist of that lady being a deeply unhappy garbageperson with low self esteem who needs to change in order to be ‘acceptable’. Fuck that shit.

I gotta say though.. all these fuckboys wailing about the lady Ghostbusters are giving me a little bit of life. Fragile Man Feelings(TM) are the silver lining here.

The Movies of 2014

Holy shit, remember when I had a blog? Me neither. Sorry for the radio silence – lots of Real Life(TM) nonsense went on on including moving, hustling, getting engaged, getting a full time job, Christmas in NJ, planning a goddamned wedding, the whole nine. I was reading on Facebook earlier about how disappointing the Oscar noms are and figured I could slap my thoughts about my faves of 2014 in here rather than blow up a Facebook status. Sound good? OK!

Those of you lucky souls who follow me on Instagram have probably noticed that between photos of booze and cats, I post a photo of every ticket stub for movies I see in the theatre. This is due to a couple of reasons – the constant deluge “of the now” realness that social media has enforced is slowly seeping into my brain, but it’s also utilitarian in a way; it allows me to keep track of the movies I see because I can’t remember anything that happened more than a week and a half ago. In short, I very much enjoyed in no particular order; Gone Girl, Top Five, Nightcrawler, The Gambler, Interstellar, The Judge, The Disappearance of Elanor Rigby Her/Him, The November Man, XMen Days of Future Past, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. I’ll elaborate a little more on some of these along with the flagrant disappointments of 2014 in a bit.

FAUX AWARDS;
Best Achievement in Throwing a Goddamned Horse: The Rock in Hercules.
Most Eraserhead Realness Served in terms of Uncomfortable/Cold Feeling Homes: The Double.
Most Lewd Fun had in a Theatre: Filth.
Best Fun Sci-Fi Flick with a Female Character who shockingly wasn’t Made of Fucking Cardboard: Edge of Tomorrow.
Most Realistic Horrifying Gritty Violence: Blue Ruin.
Best Non-Ironic Nicolas Cage Performance: Joe.

THE GOOD;

  • Nightcrawler. Probably my favourite flick of 2014. This movie is written absurdly well, with Gyllenhaal as this bizarre misanthrope antihero with no real character arc and it STILL works. He’s an absolute fucking lunatic with LA as the co-star, and I couldn’t stop thinking about this movie once I saw it. It’s just a solid movie, a type that I didn’t think was made anymore. Truly enjoyable and tight.
  • The Disappearance of Elanor Rigby. This movie was originally intended to be two separate back to back experiences, one strictly from His POV and the other from Her POV. Thanks to the fucking Weinstein Company, we got some mangled slapdash ‘Them’ cut first before the original Her/Him versions were released in theatres here.. needless to say, this movie should be enjoyed in its original form. There’s so much depth to these characters and their experiences that the edited/combined version just misses the mark. The performances are fantastic and the story is heartbreaking, but ultimately satisfying, gripping, and real. These movies have stayed with me for months. James McAvoy and Jessica Chastain play really well off of one another, and I believe them existing as a couple.
  • Gone Girl. Jesus, this movie is fucking fantastic. I struggle to recall any movie that has ever improved upon the novel as source material; I enjoyed the hell out of Flynn’s book, and read it in about three days flat mostly on a flight back from Ireland in June. The casting of Ben Affleck opposite Rosamund Pike could not have been more perfect, and Fincher just makes this whole movie work. It’s sinister and upsetting, the dialogue and action are taut, and Reznor/Ross’ score is delightfully creepy. Plus.. it has an orange cat named Cheeto deftly playing the role of Nick and Amy’s cat. Aaaaand you see Affleck’s dick. Not bad!
  • Edge of Tomorrow. If you haven’t seen this movie, DO IT RIGHT NOW. It’s fantastic, it’s fun, it’s funny without being gimmicky, and the story is really great.
  • The November Man. Pierce Brosnan is always a delight, and I’m not just saying that because I grew up watching Remington Steele with my mom. It’s an action flick and is of course a little predictable, but still a totally fun experience that surprised me with how much I got into it. Brosnan’s still got it, and Cobra Commander from the fantastically awful GI Joe sequel plays opposite him so whatevs. Totally unexpected fun romp, complete with miscellaneously Eastern European villains.
  • Interstellar. Now, in case you haven’t noticed the inalienable truth, I’ll reiterate it here; the Nolans are not good writers. McConaughey does the heavy lifting and brings the relatable human touch to the Nolans’ otherwise typically sterile characters, and Hathaway manages to not be completely intolerable so there’s that. The robots steal the show, which says all you need to know about the Nolans. The movie is not flawfree, but the strange thing here is that I liked it more and more upon reading/thinking about it and a couple of additional viewings. This movie really grew on me. It’s also worth noting that the Hans Zimmer score is fucking MAGICAL.. I haven’t stopped listening to it.
  • Top Five. Chris Rock wrote and directed this movie, and it’s really, actually, funny with heart.
  • Joe. Every now and then, I am reminded that Nicolas Cage is an actor, and a great one at that. This movie is nuanced and stripped down, and he gives a hell of a performance. It was the first movie I wrote about on this blog, in fact!
  • Jersey Boys. Now, before you all think I have brain damage, this movie isn’t actually good; I know that. It’s camp and totally absurd, but it sure is fun. Sometimes I want a fun movie to take me out of reality for a couple of hours, and Jersey Boys is the movie for that. And I love the music! I feel the same way about the 2008’s Mamma Mia; it’s genuinely terrible, but still manages to be a hell of a lot of fun to watch.

 

THE BLAND;

  • God’s Pocket. I had some high hopes for this one, considering John Slattery directed it and Philip Seymour Hoffman headlined, but it was just another one of those forgettable “THIS IS MY NEIGHBOURHOOD AND YOU’LL NEVER BELONG BECAUSE YOU’RE DIFFERENT” steaming piles of nothing.
  • The Drop, another steaming pile of nothing, for a movie I hoped would be great. The late great James Gandolfini puts in a wonderful performance in this otherwise banal movie that I really cannot recall much about; it was just sort of.. there.
  • Birdman. Unpopular opinion, I know. Performances aside, this movie was a goddamned mess. I went into it with high expectations, had read so much positive critical acclaim, and it was just one of those blowhard Faux Arthaus shitpiles trying too hard to be edgy and artsy. Don’t even get me started on the fact that this movie’s “score” was nominated for a Golden Globe, a score that as far as I could tell had someone strap a drumstick and cymbal to a couple of dogs.
  • A Most Wanted Man. I couldn’t tell you a goddamned thing about this movie other than the fact that PSH had a German accent.
  • Snowpiercer. Eh. I enjoyed it while watching it, and then never thought about it again.

 

THE CONFUSINGLY AWFUL;

  • Inherent Vice. Holy shit what a letdown this was. Now, I am mostly hit or miss on Paul Thomas Anderson flicks because I think they’re lazily referred to as ‘character studies’ when they should really be categorised as ’roundabout messes’. I was genuinely hoping this would be another Boogie Nights (which is the only PTA movie I actually enjoy, come to think of it), but IV is inconsistent, rambling, and nonsensical. At least it wasn’t as horrendous as The Master, which gave me an actual migraine. The styling of everything in IV is great though, so at least there’s that. What an abject disappointment.
  • The Theory of Everything. This movie is not only awful, it is aggressively awful. It is infuriating. Hey, I’ve got a great idea! Let’s take Stephen Hawking’s story, strip it of any and all actual character, feeling, and science,  throw it into the Romantical Story(TM) garbage disposal with a love interest who manages to look constipated for the entire two hours she’s on the screen, and you get this fucking movie. Not really an actual spoiler, but that ending: where he’s next to his estranged wife and looks at their children frolicking around a fountain at fucking Buckingham Palace and has his computer say LOOK AT WHAT WE MADE I wanted to hurl my rocks glass at the wall.
  • Locke. What in the goddamned world was this movie? It just didn’t work for me. Everyone was shitting themselves over how wonderful and visionary it was, and all I could think was, did these people all have lobotomies? Dafuq?
  • Hercules. Aside from The Rock throwing the aforementioned horse, this movie was a mess AND it was boring. There’s nothing worse than an action movie that’s incredibly dull. How in the fresh hell does that even happen? It’s the worst combination.
  • Noah. Speaking of boring, THIS fucking movie. Granted, I would never have seen it had Nick not wanted to, but HOLY FUCKING HELL IT WAS BORING. Mind-numbingly awful. And one of the characters was named Ham, so I kept thinking about ham. That’s really all you need to know.

 

SO, that’s about all I have to say about 2014 movies. And hey, Mad Men is back on April 5th, so look forward to more content on here in the near future. Rock n’roll.

Movies that Rule: Filth

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 yes, please. image courtesy of Shockya

Man, what a fucking movie this was. As soon as I saw a trailer for it a few months back, I knew I needed to see it — and I did just that this afternoon at the Sunset Sundance cinemas. Irvine Welsh is perhaps best known for penning Trainspotting, so I figured Filth would be profanely bizarre and hysterical, and it did not disappoint. This movie is brimming with joyful depravity and ludicrous amounts of high-octane language and sex, with the glorious backdrop of Scotland and near-unintelligible accents.

By the way, these are the IMDB keywords for FilthMurder | Phone Sex | Corrupt Cop | Fellatio | Raised Middle Finger

Perfection.

I feel like I’ve had a James McAvoy mini marathon as of late, watching X-Men First Class on Blu-Ray and seeing X-Men Days of Future Past last week. Real talk: this guy rules. I first saw McAvoy on Channel 4’s Shameless on one visit to the UK in 2005 or so, and I was hooked. Then Wanted hit theatres in 2008, and though that movie isn’t anything stellar, it’s super fucking entertaining and over the top ridiculous. 2009’s The Last Station was playing at like.. 2 theatres in the US, and I happened to see it at the Angelika Film Center in Manhattan on a bitterly cold day. Last year, Trance came to cinemas and I was pretty much blown away. If you haven’t seen it yet, do it right the hell now; it’s a fun flick with a great premise. McAvoy is sublime and Filth is no exception; he puts on a hypnotic performance, really making you feel for his demented-ass character.

In the trailer, Filth comes off as a debaucherous adventure of obscene proportions. While that’s definitely true, the movie takes some truly dark turns and it actually manages to have a heart, which is refreshing. Some scenes are legitimately off-putting in the best way possible. McAvoy plays corrupt drug-fuelled detective Bruce Robertson, who will stop at nothing to get a promotion that he wants. He bangs around and plays mindgames, does a batshit amount of drugs, drinks like a bum, and is generally a complete fucking maniac mess. He’s into autoerotic asphyxiation with his colleague’s wife. He outs his colleague’s babydick status with a cock-photocopying “game” at the Police Christmas party. He consistently tries to out one of his colleagues as a possible homosexual in the rudest ways possible. His prank calls to his best friend’s wife Bunty are nothing short of monumental; they’re closely tied with Kathleen Turner’s Serial Mom prank calls in terms of absurdity and top-notch salaciousness. And obvi, he bangs her in her tacky jungle-themed living room while framing his best friend/her husband as the pervy prank caller.

Robertson is slowly losing his goddamned mind and we’re all along for the ride. His wife (with daughter in tow) left him, most likely because he’s a legit crazy person, and he’s dealing with that trauma in the most fucked out ways imaginable. His taunting shrink appears to be a Kubrick/Gilliam/Lynch/Cronenberg orgy creation, portrayed by the always delightful Jim Broadbent. Robertson hallucinates horrifying farm animals along with his tragically dead little brother, and is heavily medicated as a result. He’s dealing with a lot of dark shit in probably the worst ways possible, but it’s wholeheartedly enrapturing to watch. He receives praise and kindness from a woman (and her son) because he valiantly tried to save her husband from dying when everyone else just stood around like dead-eyed cows; Robertson has no idea how to receive her positivity and gratitude and genuinely struggles with it.

Filth appears to be on super limited release in the US; though it was released in the UK and Ireland last October, it was just released here on May 30th. Even then, I was only able to find it in one theatre in the LA area which is sort of shocking because it’s fucking Los Angeles. But hey, it’s available on VOD. Go check it out! Seriously. Don’t argue with me, just go!

Time to Yell about: The Amazing Spider-Man 2

This marks the beginning of an ongoing series of posts “Time to Yell about _____”. Sometimes, I see a movie or watch a TV show and just feel compelled to yell about everything I think is wrong about it like a nutcase on a street corner yelling the end is nigh. How badly it’s written overall, how dumb the writers think the audience is, how horrendous the costuming choices are, general laziness, truly terrible dialogue/acting, or whatever the hell else is ratchet about some piece of entertainment. Here we go!

Having just seen The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and feeling spectacularly underwhelmed, I felt compelled to slap some of my thoughts and opinions on here. Now, understand that I didn’t go into this flick with absurd expectations of soul-stirring art; I’m a normal-ass human woman living on the planet Earth, and wanted to see some fun, loud action and a character I love from the comics I read as a kid. Easy, yeah? Cool. I enjoyed the first movie of this series just fine, and was looking forward to see where the story was heading.

ASM2 opens with what can only be described as a horn fanfare from the goddamned 10 o’clock news. It rang as very Movie(TM) to me and almost immediately took me out of the experience. In fact, the whole movie is reminiscent of those horrendous 1990s superhero movies we all cringe over; I kept thinking to myself, the hell is this? Joel Schumacher’s Spider-Man?

Now, I’ve always been consistently indifferent to Spider-Man’s villains. Unpopular opinion, I know, but whatever. They’ve never really grabbed me, save for Venom, whom we all saw get the shaft in Sam Raimi’s famous mess, Spider-Man 3. In ASM2, we get Jamie Foxx’s Electro and Dane DeHaan’s Green Goblin. Oy. DeHaan’s Harry Osborn on the other hand, is pretty spot on, and a real smarmy delight! Too bad his scenes with Peter reconnecting (and in general) are super rushed, but I guess that makes his turning on Peter easier to swallow since we don’t really give a shit about him. Osborn also embraces becoming a complete dick really quickly, thanks to his magnificent daddy issues.

Foxx’s Max Dillon starts off as a Lifetime Movie character trope: the obsessive manpain-plagued pathetic bookish dude who just can’t take a hint. There’s even distractingly awful “Bumbling Character Who Can’t Catch A Break” goofy music playing during his scenes! Then he becomes Electro in a pretty cool and horrifying accident, and immediately uses his powers for butthurt. Seriously. So much Jim Carrey Riddler realness, I can’t even. Once he’ s Electro, he’s sent to one of those movie mental institutions straight out of the 1940s, where a miscellaneously German Eraserhead/Dr. Strangelove hybrid doctor performs “tests” on him.

Now, let’s talk about Jamie Foxx for a second. An absurd movie done right is White House Down, a simultaneously delightful and vacuous Roland Emmerich romp with Channing Tatum’s hero guy saving Foxx’s President. Great actors like Jamie Foxx can be in otherwise silly movies like WHD and make them worth seeing, for sure; just so long as that character is at least decently written, and if not, semi-believable as a person in that world to the audience. WHD is an unequivocally ridiculous movie, but the plot is simple, well-paced, and to the point: because of that, it works. Channing Tatum has to save the President and AMERICA from Supersmart Hacker Terrorists taking over The White House for Some Terrorist Reason, it’s extremely straightforward. This is where ASM2 truly fails – the writing is a goddamned mess.

I guess the thing that confuses me the most about this movie is that the script truly sounds like a draft. Things either didn’t work, or were colossally clunky. It was like the writers took out the damn Oxford Dictionary, looked up things like SYMBOLISM and THEME, slapped some lipstick on a mule and called it a pretty lady. And then, I realised these guys were the same team responsible for actual abominations such as Star Trek: Into Darkness, Cowboys & Aliens, and the surprisingly unwatchable Transformers series. It all crystallised in that moment. Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield, however, are brilliant. Their scenes together are great – their dialogue rings true to life, and they have excellent banter and rapport. This leads me to believe that their scenes must be ad-libbed, because in comparison, the rest of the movie is really uneven and essentially tone deaf.

One simple thing that got royally fucked was the passage of time. High School Graduation Day is typically in June, or maybe even late May. What’s meant to be a few weeks/months later? Peter is watching Gwen from afar, and she’s dressed for October in a blazer and hat.. not the summer. The summer in Manhattan and the Tri-State Area is akin to a more humid version of hell, it’s absolutely foul. Even when she’s headed to the airport she’s dressed for straight up pleasant autumn in a medium weight car coat! What in the world? It’s even referenced that she got into some “summer class” at Oxford and was flying out for it that very day. Weird inconsistencies like that make me wonder what in the hell was going on in that writing room.

And I almost forgot! In a small role, Paul Giamatti has a flop forehead tattoo and a miscellaneous Eastern European accent because, ya know, Bad Guy(TM).

So.. that happened. The Amazing Spider-Man 2, though not a great movie, is perfectly adequate. It’s a thing that exists and that’s about all I can really say. Maybe see it in one of those fancy theatres where they serve booze to make the overall experience more enjoyable.

OH, and there’s also a truly bizarre X-Men: Days of Whatever teaser/blatant ad in the credit sequence. What?